FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Slovenia brush off hosts Thailand in hard-fought five-set thriller


Thailand's Rujira Ukasri spikes past Slovenia's blockers

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, August 3, 2013 – Gallant Slovenia, the surprise 3-1 winners over the USA in their group stage, fought hard to beat hosts Thailand in hotly-contested four sets 25-22 25-21 22-25 20-25 15-6 in the Girls’ U18 World Championship at the Liptapanlop Hall on Saturday.

Spectacular attacks from powerful Lana Scuka and Katja Mihevc gave debutantes Slovenia, sixth place from the European Youth Championship, off to a good start to lead initially 17-15. Thailand gradually pulled their game together to close the margin 18-18, thanks to Jaraporn Chaymon’s superb form. However, the formidable visitors stormed on to take the close opener 25-22.

Slovenia continued their mighty attacks in the second set, while Thailand could not hold their nerves to come out with several unforced mistakes. The Slovenians clinched the set 25-21 to stretch it to 2-0.

Traditionally backed by a noisy drum-beating, horns-blowing section of home spectators, Thailand heightened their defence to revive their fortune in the third set. Their intention paid off its dividends when the Thai girls won the set 25-22, again in a close battle.

In the fourth set, Thailand came up with deceptive cross-court attacks and effective drops which Slovenia could not read the rivals’ strategy well. The host side snatched the set 25-20 for a 2-2 draw.

The  tie-breaker saw the Thai girls lost their touch and made several mistakes to go down tamely in this do-or-die set 6-15 and the match.

Nika Markovic  topscored Slovenia with 20 points including 14 devastating spikes from 39 determined attempts, while Jiraporn Chaymon remained the best scorer of Thailand with 19 points, 15 kills and four blockings.

With the loss, Thailand are relegated to the 15th-16th playoff against old foes Egypt, while Slovenia will go up against Puerto Rico in the 13th-14th playoff.

2013 Girls’ U18 World Championship
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