Thailand kicked off their SMM 19th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship campaign with a convincing straight-set 25-5 25-12 25— win in a totally one-sided, 53-minute battle against debutantes Maldives in their opening Pool D encounter at the 6,500-seater Alonte Sports Arena in Binan City on Wednesday.
Thailand rested their best players including Pleumjit Thinkaow and Nootsara Tomkom and instead fielded many substitutions including Wipawee Srithong, Jarasporn Bundasak and Tapaphaipun Chaisri.
After taking the comfortable first set 25-5, Thailand had a little problems in coping with Hawwa Rashidha’s tactics. Hawwa, to everyone’s surprise, carried out a few ace serves. However, Thailand remained in form as they went on their onslaughts to win the set 25-12.
The third set was still dominated by the Thai team. Despite a brave fight, Maldives proved to have no match against much stronger Thailand, going down 9-25 and match.
Hattaya Bamrungsuk scored a match-high 12 points for Thailand including 8 kills from 10 attacks. Hawwa Rashidha led Maldives with 10 points. Thailand will next take on Iran, which went down to Taiwan 1-3 in their opening match at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
“After completing our World Grand Prix campaign, I think we remain in a good condition. I have brought the mistakes we have done in that tournament and tried to improve it when we are playing here in the Philippines,” Thailand head coach Danai Sriwacharamaytakul commented. “Against Maldives, we focussed on our own system and how to play them. We next take on Iran. To play the taller rivals, we have to maintain our form and try to come up with our best.”