Australia place 8th at 2022 Men’s AVC Cup
The Australian men’s Volleyroos have placed 8th at the 2022 Men’s AVC Cup, after falling to the host nation, Thailand, in the 7th/8th place final on Sunday.
Australia defeated Thailand 3-1 in the round of the last eight teams in Pool E, but the host nation was the stronger team at the Nakhon Pathom Provincial Gymnasium on Sunday, claiming the victory 3:1 (25-19, 25-18, 21-25, 26-24).
Thailand made a strong start to the match, with left-hander Amorntep Konhan and the 204cm-tall Kantapat Koonmee leading the team’s offence. The host team surged into a 6-point clear at 7-1 before left-hander, Matthew Aubrey methodically tore the Thai defence apart with spectacular spikes to narrowly trail 15-17.
From then, Thailand intensified their defence, allowing the visitors scoring difficulties to wrap up the set 25-19. Thailand remained in good form to take the second set 25-18.
Thailand briefly dominated the third set 12-7 before Australia upped their tempo and hit back mightily with Thomas Heptinstall and Matthew Aubrey shaking the Thai defence with their aggressive attacks to help the team level 18-18 and cruised on until 23-21. Aubrey scored Australia’s last two points for the team’s 25-21 win in the set.
The fourth set became more thrilling when both sides gave all what they had to win the set.
Kantapat and Amorntep chipped in with some crucial points to put Thailand ahead 19-21. In an effort to turn the tide on their opponents, Australia gradually pulled their game, covering the court marvellously to catch up with the Thai 24-24, a result that could go either way.
Amorntep’s heroic effort paid off when he unleashed exceptional attacks to win both the remaining two points for Thailand’s 26-24 win in the fourth set.
Amorntep Konhan scored a match-high 25 points including 4 aces for Thailand, while Kantapat Koonmee contributed 20 points. Thomas Heptinstall led Australia with 21 points.