Macau, China, August 25, 2011 – Thailand pulled off a huge upset against China in Pool A of the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix finals as they clinched a 3-1 (25-12, 25-21, 19-21, 25-17) win at the Macau East Asian Games Dome on Thursday.
Wilavan Apinyapong and Onuma Sittirak combined for 40 points to lead Thailand to its first victory in the final round.
2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand
The first set saw Thailand come out strong as they quickly built a lead over the Chinese as the latter struggled in defence. China continued to commit digging errors due to Thailand’s array of not powerful but well-placed spikes. China seemed confused by the aggressive playing attitude of Thailand as they went on to pick up the set.
China seemed to have started the second set on a good note, only to be hounded by another series of reception errors that handed Thailand the advantage once again. The visitors played toughest defence in the final round against their taller Chinese opponents. The Thai side moved quickly on defence and placed in an effort to spike their attacks onto China’s weak side. There were moments of confusion from the Chinese defenders as balls just dropped in their backcourt. China finally gave in to the Thai surge at 25-21.
China avenged their earlier set losses by winning the third set. The Chinese displayed more cohesive attacking tactic and imposed a strong block on the Thai hitters.
But Thailand took another aggressive roll to take a four- point lead into the first TTO of the fourth set. China refused to give in to the aggressive Thai attacks, cutting down the lead of Thailand to just one point on a Hui Ruoqi kill at 10-9. But Thailand stuck to the strategy they used in the first and second set and used their quickness and excellent defense. With momentum on their side, Thailand just pulled away to take set and match.