Ankara, Turkey, August 18, 2015 – In the playoff round for the places 5-8 at 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U23 World Championship in Ankara, Italy proved too strong for Thailand (25-23, 27-25, 28-26) on Tuesday morning. The South Europeans move to the classification match 5-6 while the Asian side will compete for the seventh rank.
Anna Nicoletti led Italy with outstanding 23 points, including two aces and two blocks. Kokram Pimpichaya contributed 18 kills for Thailand. Italy had the edge in blocking (7-3), the Asians were better from the service line (11-9).
Italy had the better start into Tuesday’s opening match at Baskent Volleyball Hall in Ankara. At the first technical timeout, the Azzurrine led by 8-6. The Thai side – on the other hand – needed some time to find their rhythm. Even though Thailand came back from 10-13 to make it 16-14 in their favour at the second technical timeout, it was not good enough. Led by Anna Nicoletti (seven points in the first set), Italy regained momentum to close it out 25-23.
The South Europeans kept control of the match in the first part of the second set. Thailand set up several quick combinations but the Italian power proved more effective. At the second technical break, the team of coach Luca Cristofani led by three points. However, it remained a roller-coaster story with both teams experiencing many ups and downs. Thailand saved three set balls before Italy eventually prevailed. Sara Bonifacio ended the second set with an ace (25-23).
Thailand did their best to come back in the third set, their 20-13 lead – however – was not good enough. Italy scored seven (!) points in a row to tie at 20-20. Anna Danesi finished the set 28-26 and the match 3-0 with an ace.