'Happy' Thais take on No.8 Dominicans

'Happy' Thais take on No.8 Dominicans

Thaialnd's Pimpichaya Kokram, No.16, and teammates react during the match against South Korea. (Photo: volleyballworld.com)
Thaialnd's Pimpichaya Kokram, No.16, and teammates react during the match against South Korea. (Photo: volleyballworld.com)

Having been assured of a place in the second round, Thailand face the Dominican Republic in their final Pool B match in the Women's World championship in Gdansk, Poland, on Saturday.

With the top four teams in each of the four pools advancing, Thailand cannot finish lower than fourth place in the group.

The world No.14 Thais have beaten Turkey, Croatia and South Korea and lost to Poland so far in the championship.

Thailand booked a place in the second round after defeating South Korea 3-0 on Thursday.

"My girls have improved in everything. They play with happiness. We will try to keep our standard in the next games," Thailand coach Danai Wacharasrimaytakul said.

"We have met our target of reaching the second round, but more importantly our players have improved."

He said the eighth-ranked Dominicans are strong and have good blocks.

"We will use our speed to fight them," Danai said.

There will be two eight-team pools in the second round of the championship which is being held in Poland and the Netherlands until Oct 15.

The top four teams in each pool will advance to the quarterfinals.

On Thursday, Thailand hammered South Korea 25-13, 25-15, 25-14.

Thailand dominated the match and outplayed the Koreans on all counts.

Thai ace Pimpichaya Kokram delivered the match high of 21 points with her success rate in attack being 63 percent.

Spiking at a success rate of 58%, Thailand outside hitter Ajcharaporn Kongyot added another 12 points towards the victory.

"Today we played with happiness and tried to enjoy our game. If we have too much stress, it's not so good for us and for our game," said Pimpichaya.

"It's great that we won today and moved to the next round, where we will try to win more, but first, we have one more game to play in this pool and we'll do our best again."

Thailand, led by captain Pornpun Guedpard, are playing in their seventh world championship with their best finish being 13th in 2010 and 2018.

Thailand are building a new team with the ultimate goal of winning the country's first-ever Olympic spot in the sport at Paris 2024.

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