Russia beat Thailand in a close fight: 2011 FIVB Women’s Grand Prix - Volleyball

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Russia beat Thailand 3-1: 2011 FIVB Women’s Grand Prix - Volleyball
Macau, China, hosted a scintillating match in the second round of the 2011 FIVB Women’s Grand Prix, where teams from Russia and Thailand contested their game skills. Reigning world champions, Russia, put up a great display of volleyball and stole the show
by posting a 3-1 (25-18, 25-22, 25-27, 25-17) victory over their Thai opponents. It was the first match in Pool A, which was held on Wednesday, August 24.
The Russian victory was mainly credited to an outstanding performance from Ekaterina Gamova, who played in the No. 11 shirt. She was simply amazing throughout the game and contributed a match-high 26 points. On Thailand’s side, Onuma Sittirak, scored 21
points and earned the status of top contributor for her team.
Russian players used the advantage of height and better physical ability in the match. They controlled the game and kept their opponents behind the attack line. Thailand came up with a back row attack and tried to respond to the Russian strike. Gamova of
Russia added quick points near the end of the first set and led her team to success as Russia claimed the first set with 25-18 on the board.
Thailand hit back strongly in the following set as the duo of Kanthong Malika and Apinyapong Wilavan put up a good effort and helped Thailand bring the second set close. They continued with their efforts and Thailand finally picked up the lead at the second
technical timeout. However, the resilient rival Russia started a bombardment of attacks from the wings, which Thailand failed to stop and dropped the second set.
The third set was an intense fight between the two teams as long rallies were exchanged and players on both sides stayed focused on scoring quick points. The luck favoured Thailand in the third set and helped them with a 27-25 win. The happiness was short-lived
for Thailand as Russia made a quick comeback and finished the match by winning fourth set 25-17.
Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai, the mentor for the Thailand team, praised the good work of the Russian team and congratulated them for winning the match. Speaking of the competition, he stated, “We had a really hard game; it was difficult to get each point.
We had a game plan but there are weaknesses in our techniques, and so we must learn more in order to do better. I hope my players can improve their techniques through this tournament.”
The captain of the losing side, Wilavan Apinyapong, seemed unhappy about the loss of the opening game. She showed good sporting spirit and congratulated the Russians for their brilliant win. She said Russia played with a strong team and ousted them with
a better performance. Apinyapong was determined to give an improved performance in the next matches.
Russia’s Coach, Vladimir Kuzyutkin, had a different view about the match and said, “This match shows there are problems in our game.  Congratulations to the Thailand coach for the good match and for putting up a good fight. I am sure they will continue to
fight in the remaining matches just like today.”
Russian skipper, Maria Borisenko, also said that sometimes they made mistakes because of a lapse of concentration.



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