Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, October 3, 2021 – Gifted Chatchu-on Moksri scored a team-high 31 points as Nakhon Ratchasima QminC VC survived a scare from Zhetysu to rally past the Kazakh opponents in hard-fought five sets in the 2021 Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship at Terminal 21 Hall here on Sunday.
Nakhon Ratchasima struggled in their last preliminary Pool A encounter to beat Zhetysu 25-20, 18-25, 25-19, 17-25, 15-10 for two successive wins and captured the top spot in the group as expected.
Nakhon Ratchasima, powered by highly-experienced setter Nootsara Tomkom and ace spiker Chatchu-on Moksri, made a flying start with a fantastic 25-20 win in the opening set, but Zhetysu challenged the tough rivals seriously in the second set and clawed their way back, with Anastasia Gurbanova and Svetlana Parukova joining forces in puncturing the Thai defence to help Zhetysu snatch the second set 25-18.
Zhetysu tried to keep the same pace in the third set but it was Thailand’s excellent teamwork and combinations which held off the rivals’ attempts that helped Nakhon Ratchasima QminC VC take the set 25-19 for a 2-1 advantage.
In the fourth set, Zhetysu tightened their watch on their opponents’ wing attack. The Thai side worked on a number of solutions, varying their speed in attack, or enlisting the pipe plays. Each team knew how to respond to rallies and recycled plays, making for an exchange of side-outs. Toward the closing plays, Zhetysu firmed up their net defense, and connected from the wing to force the decider.
In the tie-breaker, Nakhon Ratchasima tried hard to come back. The scores were trading one by one in this highly-anticipated encounter that finally saw hosts Nakhon Ratchasima QminC VC capture the decider 15-10 and match.
Chatchu-on Moksri weighed in a team-high 31 points including 28 powerful attacks for Nakhon Ratchasima QminC VC, while Svetlana Parukova led Zhetysu with 23 points.
“It was a tough game for us. The team needed to gain momentum back after a long period that we did not have the chance to play international matches. Zhetysu have good serving and blocking tactics. We need to adjust ourselves to different conditions from the lighting and wind inside the training hall to the competition venue. I think it affects our game a bit at the beginning. Zhetysu’s players were good in attack, allowing us pressure in the second and fourth sets. However, I am glad that finally our team won,” said Chatchu-on Moksri, the top scorer in this match.