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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Thailand give Italy a fright, face Canada

Thailand's Pimpichaya Kokram hits a shot against Italy. (Photo:

The Thai women take on Canada in the second match of Pool 1 in the Volleyball Nations League 2023 in Antalya, Turkey, on Thursday.

The 15th-ranked Thais will hope to rebound from their opening defeat at the hands of defending champions Italy on Tuesday at the Antalya Sports Hall.

World No.14 Canada lost to Poland 2-3 in their opener on Wednesday.

Against Italy, Thailand coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul picked the starting line-up of Pornpun Gerdpard, Thatdao Nuekjang, Hattaya Bamrungsuk, Ajcharaporn Kongyot, Chatch-on Moksri and Piyanut Pannoy.

Thailand pushed the holders to the limit but came up short when it mattered most as they went down 2-3 (26-24, 17-25, 29-27, 28-30, 11-15).

It was the Italians' fifth successive win against Thailand.

Pimpichaya Kokram carried Thailand's offence with 23 points, Chatchu-on added 15 points while Ajcharaporn, who left the match at the end of the fourth set with a calf injury, had 13.

Sylvia Nwakalor, who had 25 points, was the highest scorer for Italy, followed by Loveth Omoruyi with 22 points.

Blocking was the main difference between the teams, with the Italians getting 17 stops to the Thais' seven.

Italy, who saved several matches points in the fourth set, also got more kills (71 to 68) and aces (seven to two), but generated more points for their opponents from errors (34 to 27).

Italy coach Davide Mazzanti said he had expected a tough match.

"I knew it was going to be a tough match against Thailand," said Mazzanti. "It's never easy playing against them. But with our determination, we came through. We made a lot of mistakes and we need to improve and be ready for the next match."

The match between Thailand and Canada will be shown live on Channel 7 starting at 5.45pm. In other Pool 1 matches on Thursday, Italy meet Poland at 9pm while hosts Turkey take on Serbia at midnight.

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