Local girls make a good start
[VOLLEYBALL] Reigning champions China, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan all won their first matches on the opening day of the Asian Women's Under-19 Volleyball Championship in The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima's MCC Hall, with the local girls defeating Sri Lanka in a one-sided affair.
The Thai team, fresh from winning the South East Asian Women's Junior Championship in Kamphaeng Phet a few days ago, used the in-form Em-on Phynusit, Sirintra Seesuma and Kamolporn Sukmak to beat the Sri Lankans 25-11 25-7 25-9 in 61 minutes in the curtain-raiser yesterday.
"We had a comfortable win today," said Thai coach Pollawat Toomanee. "The Sri Lankans were not that strong.
"I tried to give every player in my team a chance to gain competition experience and then I decided to field not only the starting line-up, but also those from the bench.
"We play New Zealand in Monday's match, and I don't think we will have any obstacles. The New Zealanders are tall, but move slowly. We will use fast spikes and powerful jump serves to beat them. I hope we won't have any trouble winning our second match against New Zealand," he added.
China's team were in superb form and defeated India in straight sets 25-8 25-10 25-9. Japan also fared well to clear their first hurdles with a 25-12 25-14 25-13 victory over Australia, while Taiwan outclassed Indonesia 25-13 25-19 25-14.
Thailand take on New Zealand today, Vietnam play India, Singapore face Japan and South Korea meet Indonesia.
A total of 12 teams are taking part in the October 1-9 tournament, vying for the top honours and two places in next year's World Women's Under-20 Championship. Thailand, as hosts for the world meet, have already clinched a berth.