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Germany take Thailand to task

Germany finished with a 4-1 record in Pool C following the victory over Thailand in straight sets

Matsumoto, Japan, November 3, 2010 – Germany collected their fourth win in Group C at the FIVB Women’s World Championship in Matsumoto on Wednesday with a comprehensive 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-10) victory over Thailand. Germany finished the first round with a 4-1 record, while the Thais fell to 2-3.

The taller German players out-blocked Thailand by an overwhelming margin of 17-3. Christiane Furst registered four blocks and Margareta Kozuch, Kathleen Weiss and Corina Ssuschke had three apiece. Kozuch paced the German attack with 16 points while Ssuschke and Maren Brinker contributed 11 and 10 points respectively.

The match didn't start well for Thailand. The usually ultra-reliable Nootsara Tomkom made an uncharacteristic setting error, big hitter Onuma Sittirak was well blocked by Christiane Furst, two Thai serves landed in the net and the German attack was simply hammering the Thai defence. Thai coach Kiattipong Radchatgriengkai called a timeout after just four points, but there was little he could do to help his team deal with a confident display by Germany.

And there wasn't just one player for the Thais to focus on. The Germans were sharing the attacking load. Brinker and Ssuschke were both in good form, but the whole team was working hard and very efficiently. A spike by Heike Beier brought set-point and Malika Kanthong gifted the set to Germany by dunking a serve into the net.

Radchatgriengkai took off Tomkom at the start of the second set in favour of Kamonporn Sukmak and while the Thais' defence edged up a notch, their attack was being blunted by Germany's superior defence. Furst and Brinker came up with successive blocks as Germany cruised to an 8-3 lead at the first technical timeout. Sittirak finally landed one of her trademark mammoth blows 15 points into the set and captain Wilavan Apinyapong then made a sensational dig to help the Thais earn another point.

But Ssuschke slammed down three spikes and the Germans continued to pull away from the Thais, leading by eight at the second TTO. Radchatgriengkai brought back Tomkom towards the end of the set and gave a runout to 18-year-old lefty Rasamee Supamool, who smacked a fine spike down the line for her first point. But that only made the score 22-11. Ssuschke finished the set off with a thumping crosscourt drive for set-point and ended with a block on Apinyapong.
Successive blocks by Furst, Beier and Kozuch early in the third set underlined the uphill task facing the Thais and some incredible German defending made their task even harder. Kozuch then found her cannon range and started peppering the Thais with huge hits and soon the Germans were 16-5 ahead. The Germans came up with three more successive block points – against Em-orn Phansui, Apinyapong and Sittirak – but Sittirak landed three spikes to bring some respectability to the Thai score. Finally, Kozuch brought the match to its conclusion with three hefty spikes.

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