Kazakhstan sweep Thailand to secure first second round berth


Tatyana Mudritskaya scored 20 points to help Kazakhstan proceed to the second round

Verona, Italy, September 28, 2014 – A focused and aggressive Kazakhstan secured a second round spot for the first time in their history after defeating Thailand in straight sets (25-15, 25-22, 25-20) at PalaOlimpia on Sunday.  

With this victory, Kazakhstan, who had lost three matches and previously won only one against Mexico, placed fourth in Pool C. The Asian team will proceed to the next round with no points, due to the fact their victories came only against eliminated sides. 

Thailand, who lost four matches and only defeated Mexico in straight sets, placed fifth in Pool C and are eliminated. 

Key points:

•Thailand and Kazakhstan only met twice at World Championships. Thailand defeated Kazakhstan 3-1 in 2010
Kazakhstan never made the second round of competition at the World Championships. Their best result so far was 17th position 
•The two teams met twice at the World Gran Prix in 2008 and 2011. Kazakhstan won 3-2 the first time, while Thailand prevailed 3-0 on the second occasion
•Kazakhstan have now recorded a back-to-back victory after they interrupted a nine-match losing streak at World Championships by beating Mexico 3-0 on Saturday
•Kazakhstan have now played seven World Championships matches that ended in straight sets (2 wins, 5 losses)

Mudritskaya was the best scorer on the Kazakhstan team with 20 points, while Ajcharaporn Kongyot topped the perfomances on the Thailand side with 15 points.

Kazakhstan started the match very aggressively with Tatyana Mudritskaya scoring and Thailand giving points away with serve and defense errors. After the first technical time out, Thailand looked more determined and Wanna Buakaew had impressive digs during a nail-biting rally that Kazakhstan closed with a triple block. Thailand tried to defend, but their opponents’ attacks were too powerful, allowing Kazakhstan a comfortable lead to 16-8. They kept the grip on the game as Thailand was unable to find their rhythm and struggled in attack, while Mudritskaya, Sana Anarkulova and captain Korinna Ishimtseva continued to score on spikes. But Thailand did not give up and neutralized five set points, until Olga Nassedkina eventually shot to close the set 25-15.

Kazakhstan served into the net to start the second set, and Thailand came back with two spectacular spikes by Ajcharaporn Kongyot. But Kazakhstan give the battle away and tied the score 7-7. Thailand tried to build a gap, but an ace by Lyudmila Issayeva levelled the score to 12-12. The match proceeded balanced and tight, with both teams trading points evenly until Kazakhstan built an advantage of three points to 22-19. Sana Anarkulova spiked against a struggling Thailand defense to take the second set 25-22.

The third set started in a similar fashion with a spectacular spike by Inna Matveyeva. Both teams kept defending and spiking, but Kazakhstan established their dominance counting on Mudritskaya’s spikes and Thailand’s errors in attack to reach 16-8 to the second technical time out. Captain Pornpun Guedpard’s spikes lead Thailand’s comeback as they narrowed the gap to 22-17. Bamrungsuk’s shots and an ace cancelled three match points for Kazakhstan, until Alena Omelchenko eventually wrapped the match 25-20.

Kazakhstan will face the first placed team from Pool B on Wednesday at PalaOlimpia.


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