Mexicali, Mexico, July 20, 2009 – Thailand recovered from one set down to defeat Kenya 25-27, 25-18, 25-18, 25-16 in the first match of second round’s Pool G for 9-16 positions of the Women’s Junior World Championship. Sontaya Keawbundit was Thailand’s top scorer with 17 points and Nutchalee Suksomklin and Siriporn Ketsanoi added 14 and 10 respectively. Everlyne Makuto topped Kenya with 12 points.
Thailand erased a 5-point deficit behind the attack and blocking of Suksomklin and took the lead 8-7 over Kenya and the contributions from Chepkemboi at the net. They kept the slight advantage (16-15) at the second stop with Ponleka providing the offense while Khaemba was doing the job for Kenya. The Africans took the lead 18-16 with spike by Makuto and a block from Chepkemboi forcing a Thailand’s time-out. Another block by Chepkemboi followed by ace of Magoi widened the lead to 23-18. Several Kenyan defensive mistakes allowed the opponent to tie the score at 24-all, but finally the Africans won 27 with a block by Tsisiche.
Thailand arrived to the first pause leading 8-5 taking advantage of Kenya’s defensive problems. They went on to maintain the slight margin at 16-15 in the second stop with the offensive help of Keawbundit. The rest of the way it was a combined job of Ketsanoi and Keawbundit with the latter producing the final blow for the 25-18 win.
Thailand again took the lead 8-5 thanks to the spikes of Suksomklin. The Thailand advantage increased to 16-10 at the second time-out with Keawbundit spiking and serving. The Thais kept the difference and finally won 25-18 with an ace produced by Suksomklin.
In the fourth set, Thailand led 8-6 relying on the spikes and serves of Suksomklin. Kenya neared at 10-9 with the strong spikes of Makuto. The second mandatory pause found the Thais in front 16-10 with block and spike of Thongsa-or and a soft touch by Suksomklin. Finally the spike by Boonyuen closed the set 25-16 and the victory for Thailand.