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Volleyball: Thailand, Japan, China lead Asian charge at Girls’ U18 Worlds

Hosts Thailand beat Tunisia 3-0 to finish second in Pool A and set up a last-16 clash with China.

Hosts Thailand beat Tunisia 3-0 to finish second in Pool A and set up a last-16 clash with China.

July 30, 2013: Hosts Thailand clinched a 3-0 victory (25-22, 25-20, 25-12) against Tunisia to finish second in Pool A at the FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima.

 

Thailand face a daunting round of 16 clash on Thursday against China, who beat Argentina 3-0 (25-21, 25-13, 25-18) to finish third in Pool B.

 

Jiraporn Chaymon led the Thai scorers against Tunisia with 13 points from her sharp hits. Thailand won three matches and lost one to finish second in the pool behind Serbia, and will advance to the round of 16 in the 20-team competition.

 

“Congratulations to our team today,” said Thailand coach Apichat Kongsawat. “The players were nervous in the first set and we had some problem with the Tunisian attacks.

 

“After the first set, we came back better and I’m very happy that we qualified to the second round. And the next round we will improve our teamwork and strategy, and make our attacks faster if we’re to beat China.”

 

Thailand captain Sittisad Patcharaporn added: “I’m very happy with the team’s performance today as we beat Tunisia. We played according to the coach’s advice, but we also had problems with our serving and the receiving was not good.”

 

Japan's Airi Tahara and Yukina Hayashi execute a double block against Greece.

Japan’s Airi Tahara and Yukina Hayashi execute a double block against Greece.

Japan lived up to their reputation as the reigning Asian champions, recovering from losing the first set to beat Greece 22-25, 25-15, 25-16, 25-21 at the Liptapanlop Hall. Japan topped Pool B with eight points from three wins and face Egypt in the last 16.

 

Miku Benoki and Mizuki Yanagita helped Japan, who finished seventh two years ago in Turkey, fight back from their first-set loss. Tactically and technically, they combined well to uncork a barrage of spectacular spikes.

 

From 24-17 in the fourth game, Greece saved four match-points before Miku Benoki fired a devastating spike from the wing to close out the match. Kaori Mabashi led Japan with 17 points, 14 of them from attacks.

 

Chinese Taipei finished fourth in Pool D and will face USA, winners of Pool C.

 

Photos: FIVB

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