Nigeria finishes last at Volleyball women’s under-20 championship

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The volleyball players lost all their matches at the FIVB Women’s U20 Championship.

Nigeria finished last at the International Volleyball Women’s U20 Championship in Brno, the Czech Republic after a 0-3 loss to Thailand in their final classification round match on Sunday.

The Nigerian under-20 women volleyball side lost 16-25, 9-25, 11-25 at the Vodova Sports Hall on the final day of the June 21-June 30 competition held among 20 teams.

The loss made it their seventh in seven matches at the world championship, after four losses in the first round’s Pool D and three losses in the classification round.

The Asians were dominant from start to finish in the game, booking their second win in the 17-20 classification round.

The Nigerian players fought back but could not deal with the power game and experience of the Thais and lost their seventh straight match.

Team captain Kuttika Kaewpin led Thailand with 15 points, including 13 in attack, while teammate Kaewkalaya Kamulthala chipped in with 12 points.

As usual, team captain Mercy Promise scored eight points for Nigeria, which committed 18 errors to Thailand’s 14.

Thailand thus finished 18th on the rank while Nigeria ended their Women’s U20 World Championship campaign in 20th place.

In the end, Nigeria’s coach Sergey Ovechkin, admitted his team made many mistakes again, and blamed it on psychological problems.

“My team again made many mistakes today (Sunday), but it is a psychological issue for the players. We did not have constant serve and reception, which are basics for volleyball,’’ he said.

On her part, Promise said the loss was another learning curve for the team in spite of their final positioning.

“We lost the match and finished last, but we learned a lot during the tournament. It means a lot for us as we were playing for the first time at such a tournament,’’ she said.

Nigeria had earlier lost 0-3 to each of Turkey, Egypt and Italy and 2-3 to Algeria in the first round Pool D.

After finishing last in the pool, they were condemned to the classification round where they played three matches in a round-robin battle for positions 17 to 20 at the championship.

They however lost 0-3 to each of Puerto Rico, the U.S and Thailand to finish in 20th place.

(NAN)

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