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Pornpun and Hattaya on the block against Kang Sohwi

Thailand got back on the winning track in the women’s Volleyball Nations League 2022 on Wednesday. Hammering 17 kill blocks against Korea in Sofia, they put an end to their three-match losing streak and won this all-Asian clash by 3-0 (25-11, 25-22, 25-17). They improved to a 5-4 win-loss record and 15 points in eighth place, leaving their opponents winless at the bottom of the table.

Thailand’s outside hitters Chatchu-On Moksri and Ajcharaporn Kongyot led the match scorers with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Chatchu-On delivered five of the team’s 17 stuffs and their only ace, with which she closed the match. Opposite Pimpichaya Kokram added another four stuffs to finish on 11 points in total. Outside hitter and captain Park Jeongah was Korea’s most prolific player of the match with 12 points to her name.

· Watch all VNL 2022 matches live on Volleyball TV.

Chatchu-On Moksri’s top plays against Korea

Ajcharaporn attacked for 5-4 and blocked for 6-4 in the first set to give Thailand the first two-point lead of the match. The Thais continued to dominate at the net, especially with their superb blocking efforts, to break away with a 19-10 advantage after a six-point run. Another six-point run brought the set home at 25-11. A monster block by Pimpichaya (her fourth and the team’s 10th in the set!) delivered the set point. Then, middle blocker Jarasporn Bundasak’s serve proved too hard for the Koreans to handle and the set was won by a crushing margin.

Korea fought back in the second set. A kill block by their middle Dahyeon Lee gave them a 12-10 lead. She then nailed the overpass to extend it to 13-10, but own errors by Korea allowed Thailand to level it swiftly at 14-14. Thai setter and captain Pornpun Guedpard produced the team’s first stuff of the set to give them a 17-15 edge. She did it again for another break point to widen it to 19-16. Then Chatchu-On’s block pushed Thailand further ahead to a 22-17 lead. Jarasporn’s first-tempo attack brought in a quintuple set point at 24-19. The Koreans denied it three times before finally serving into the net to close the set at 25-22 Thailand’s way.

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Chatchu-On celebrates with her Thai teammates

The Thais pulled out the block weapon early into the third set. Jarasporn put up a wall for the first point of the set. Then Chatchu-On crowned a beautiful super long rally with a monster block for 3-1. With two successful spikes in a row by Lee Hanbi and Dahyeon, Korea managed to open a 13-11 gap, but the opponents came back immediately and even regained control with three consecutive points. The epilogue was all about Chatchu-On. She monster-blocked for 16-14, and again for 19-16. She hammered the next point in attack for 20-16, and another one for 22-17. Next, her serve put the opponents at difficulty and gave Pimpichaya the opportunity to kill the overpass for 23-17. Ajcharaporn’s successful spike delivered the match point. Finally, Chatchu-On crowned that four-point series and her brilliant performance in the match with an ace for the 25-17 winner.

“I feel good. I feel wonderful and happy in every game,” said captain Pornpun, who tops the current best setters’ ranking in the VNL. “In every game, we don’t think about the win; we think about our teamwork and how we communicate with each other.”

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Pornpun feeling “wonderful and happy” in the VNL

In their next game on Thursday, Thailand will play against the Dominican Republic, while Korea take on Brazil.

Italy and Poland will take to the court at the Arena Armeets competition hall next on Wednesday. Later in the day, Japan will meet the Netherlands and Belgium will face USA in the other pool, in Calgary.