USA march on, still hope for Thailand


Thailand were roared on by hundreds of travelling fans

Verona, Italy, September 27, 2014 – USA beat Thailand for the second time at a World Championship by overpowering them 3-0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-20) at PalaOlimpia on Saturday.  

USA, who had already qualified for the second round of competition after three matches, have now 12 points after four match days to equal Russia’s result in Pool C.

Key points:

•USA beat Thailand for the second time. The two teams had previously met only once in 2010, when USA won 3-1
•USA also won against Thailand 3-2 at the World Gran Prix 2014 in August
•USA have only conceded one set at this championship in the match against Mexico on Tuesday
•Thailand took their first victory at this championship against Mexico. They won in straight sets and it was their sixth win at a World Championship
•They only beat USA once at a major tournament at the World Grand Prix in 2009
•USA have now won 13 of their last 14 first round matches at the World Championship
•USA have never won a World Championship and have not won a medal since 2002

USA started fast and aggressive in the first set, forcing Thailand coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai to call a time out at 5-1. 

Vocally encouraged by dancing fans, the Asian team kept fighting and Hattaya Bamrungsuk narrowed the gap with a block to 9-4. But the USA maintained the grip on the game and scored 16-10 to the second technical time out. 

Thailand’s defense covered every corner of the court, but Kimberly Hill’s powerful shot and Kelly Murthy’s ace gave USA a decisive lead to 22-13.

USA coach Karch Kiraly called a time out as Alisha Glass had blood coming from her nose, but she quickly recovered and went back to the court, just for a few more quick rallies that gave the set to the Americans 25-15.

Thailand looked more dangerous in the second set as they cruised to 6-2. Blocks by Bamrungsuk and  Jarasporn Bundasak’s blocks built their advantage to 9-5. 

USA, who seemed unable to find their rhythm in the beginning of the set, began to regroup and closed the gap taking advantage of setter’s Pornpun Guedpard error to tie 12-12. 

The game was level until 18-18, but the North Americans struggled in defense allowing Thailand to lead to 21-18. 

Kiraly again called a time out to spur the players, who started to turn the result around. 

Burbach Jordan Quinn Larson score twice to 23-21 and an unsuccessful spike by Bundasak closed the set 25-23.

The third set started in a similar fashion, but Fawcett scored precious points on blocks to give USA the lead 7-2. Thailand kept fighting, showing their defense skills with Wanna Buakaew’s impressive digs. 
The Asian team narrowed the gap to 16-15 and Wanitchaya Luangtonglang blocked successfully to level the score to 16-16. But USA reacted quickly with aggressive attacks that Thailand could not neutralize, until Chatchu-On Moksri’s spiked a ball that touched the antenna, closing the match 25-20.

USA will meet Russia on Sunday to decide which team will top pool C.

Thailand have now lost three matches 3-0, while winning one in straight sets against Mexico. Having earned a total of  three points they are even with Kazakhstan, whom they will play against on Sunday. 

The winner of that clash will secure the fourth and last available berth to the next round of competition.


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