Thais finish bottom in Volleyball Nations League after Italy loss

Thais finish bottom in Volleyball Nations League after Italy loss

The Thai women's volleyball team ended their 2021 FIVB Nations League campaign with a battling 3-1 defeat against hosts Italy in the fifth and final week of the preliminary round in Rimini on Sunday.

The Thais took the opening set 35-33 but dropped the next three 21-25, 25-27, 20-25 in a match that lasted nearly three hours.

It was their 13th defeat in 15 matches of the 16-team tournament.

Thailand claimed their second win of the tournament with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-17) victory over Canada on Saturday.

Onuma Sittirak was Thailand's highest scorer of the match with 24 points. Pleumjit Thinkaow scored 16 points while Sutadta Chuewulim had 12.

Oghosasere Loveth Omoruyi had 33 points for Italy. Eleonora Furlan and Giulia Melli had 20 points each.

Sunday's upshot left Thailand at the bottom of the league table with two wins and 13 defeats while Italy were 4-11.

After five weeks, the top-four teams advance to the semi-finals.

The United States were on top with 14 wins and just one loss. At press time, Brazil (12-2), Japan (12-3) and Turkey (11-3) occupied the other three spots.

China, meanwhile, defeated the US 3-0 (25-10, 25-20, 25-17) on Sunday, ending the Americans' unbeaten run in the preliminary round.

The Chinese finished in fifth place with a 10-5 record.

The semi-final matches will take place on Thursday and the final on Friday.

Thailand were led by the Fab Five -- Pleumjit, Onuma, Nootsara Tomkom, Malika Kanthong and Wilavan Apinyapong.

It is likely to be their last international tournament having played together for years.

They were called up to the VNL squad only after a large number of players tested positive for Covid-19 a few weeks before the event began.

The Thailand Volleyball Association wants to build a young team in a bid to claim the country's first ever Olympic spot in the sport at Paris 2024.

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