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Thailand yet to lose set at VTV International Women's Volleyball Cup

Vietnam's Do Thi Minh attacks Australia at the pole
Bac Ninh, Vietnam, May 19, 2014 - On Monday, an unbeaten Thailand powered past Kazakhstan to capture pole position at the VTV International Women's Volleyball Cup.

In a difficult match against Kazakhstan, Thailand, who beat hosts Vietnam and Australia earlier in the tournament, rested their best players, including Thatdao Nuekjang, Hattaya Bamrungsuk, Ajcharaporn Kongyot and Jutharat Montripila, and instead fielded substitutes Sineenat Phocharoen, Kaewkalaya Kamulthala, Jarasporn Bundasak, Kannikar Thipachot and Wanida Kotrung, as well as in-form setter Pornpun Guedpard. Kazakhstan, on the other hand, were strengthened by Anastassiya Rogtovchshkova, Yenlena Gordeyeva and Irina Chumak.

The Thai spikers led from start to finish to take the one-sided first set 25-12. The second set turned out to be a closely-contested battle, when Kazakhstan gathered their courage. Leading narrowly 17-15, Thailand brought in Ajcharaporn Kongyot to strengthen their team. Both sides performed exceptionally well, but Thailand proved stronger in the final assault to win the thrilling hard-fought second set 28-26.

In the third set, Thailand fielded Jutharat Montripila, Ajcharaporn Kongyot and Hattaya Bamrungsuk to cope with Kazakhstan's strong fightback. The Kazakhs initially led 9-6 and 10-7, before Thailand stormed back bravely for an 11-11 equaliser.

Thailand remained in attacking mode, while the Kazakhs played well in defence. Thailand, however, came up with a better performance to capture the set 25-22 and the straight-set match.

With victory against Kazakhstan, Thailand now have nine points from three wins, and have not lost a single set. Kazakhstan have only three points from a 3-1 win over China's Yunnan and two defeats.

Monday's second game saw DPR Korea keep their unbeaten record following their third win in the tournament. The Koreans, who are ranked 113th in the world by the FIVB and who were fourth at the Asian Games in Guanzhou, China, survived a sturdy challenge from Yunnan to beat the Chinese side 3-1 (25-13, 23-25, 25-19, 26-24).

DPR Korea have nine points from three successive wins. Due to the loss of a set to Yunnan, however, they are second to Thailand in the standings.

Meanwhile, hosts Vietnam, who lost to Thailand on the first day, registered their second win in the annual tournament after overwhelming underdogs Australia 3-0 (25-6, 25-14, 25-19).

The fourth day of the single round-robin competition on Tuesday sees Australia take on Kazakhstan, Thailand challenge China's Yunnan and hosts Vietnam go up against DPR Korea.

Monday's results:

Thailand beat Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-12, 28-26, 25-22)
DPR Korea beat China's Yunnan 3-1 (25-13, 23-25, 25-19, 26-24)
Vietnam beat Australia 3-0 (25-6, 25-14, 25-19)


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