Indian volleyball team players in action at the Men’s Asian Under-23 Volleyball Championship in Myanmar.
Indian volleyball team entered the quarterfinals of the Men’s Asian Under-23 Volleyball Championship despite a 2-3 defeat against Thailand in its last Group D preliminary round fixture on August 5. The Indian U-13 team progressed into the knockouts of the continental championships in Myanmar after topping the group thanks to wins against New Zealand and China earlier.
India, led by Amit Gulia, finished with six points to enter the quarters for the first time in the tournament’s history. In fact, both China and Thailand also ended up with six points but India progressed thanks to the fact that they didn’t lose in straight sets.
Coach Pritam Singh Chauhan expressed his delight in the team’s journey. He, however, hoped that the defeat against Thailand will serve as a wake-up call for the players ahead of tough matches in the knockouts.
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“They played brilliantly against China and New Zealand,” said Chauhan. “China plays the fast game so we slowed things down against them. Meanwhile, we also adapted to New Zealand’s style of play which is similar to the European style. However, Thailand’s game is very similar to ours and we could have possibly done slightly better in the blocking department. But it was a very close match and a much needed wake-up call for the boys before the knockouts.”
The coach also praised team’s setter, Muthusamy. “He has proved that he is a talented player with all-round skills. He has made good contributions and helped us in securing the win over China.”
India began their game against Thailand in similar fashion to the New Zealand game and won the first set 25-15 with ease. Thailand raised their game in the second set and edged past their opponents in a hard-fought contest that finished 25-23. The next set also followed a similar script with Thailand winning it despite India running them close.
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The fourth set was won by India, taking the game go into the decider. The Indian team failed to deliver the knockout punch and ended up conceding the final set 13-15.
India will now play two matches against Kazakhstan and Japan in the classification round for first to eighth places before their quarterfinal fixture.
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