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Lippmann on fire as Germany survives amazing Thai comeback to win five set thriller

 

Bangkok, Thailand, May 30, 2018 - Louisa Lippmann scored 22 points in a brilliant display of power and precision as Germany withstood a ferocious comeback to beat Thailand 3-2 (25-23, 28-26, 23-25, 22-25, 15-10) in a heart-stopping encounter in the women's FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Wednesday.

Lippmann's impressive tally included 21 kills as Germany regained their composure just at the right time to snap a six-game losing streak after a two-and-a-half hour thriller of escalating tension.

The German captain Maren Fromm hit the winning spike to end the match with 20 points, joining Lippmann, Marie Scholzel (15), Lisa Grunding (14) and Jennifer Geerties (10) as five German players to reach double figures.

For Thailand, Ajcharaporn Kongyot led the way with 22 points, including 20 spikes from 38 attempts, while Hattaya Bamrungsuk (17), Pleumjit Thinkaow (13) and Pimpichaya Kokram (11) all played superbly in a nail-biting match.

With the win, Germany ended a run of six straight losses to improve to 2-6 while the Pool 11 hosts Thailand dropped to 2-6 after a match that featured not only great shot making but also desperate defence.

Thailand got off to a confident start, winning the first three points and staying in front for most of the first set before Germany drew level.

The teams were locked together at 18-18 before the Europeans surged clear. A long serve from Thailand opposite spiker Malika Kanthongmalike gave Germany set point and after missing their first two chances, they clinched the set at their third go after a thunderous spike from wing spiker Geerties.

That was just the start of an extraordinary match that had the crowd at the Indoor Stadium Huamark on their feet and roaring with excitement.

With neither side able to break away, the scores were tied 14 times in the second set. Germany saved a set point at 23-24 then missed two of their own before Lippmann finally clinched the set with a spike that was deflected out of court.

The third set was another classic, featuring some scrambling saves from both teams and one rally that lasted 56 seconds, and was still in the balance at 20-20 before Thailand pulled ahead.

A powerful spike from the athletic Thinkaow gave the Thais two set points. Germany saved the first but gifted the second to the home side after a service error from Fromm.

Thailand overcame a four-point deficit to win the fourth set and force a decider.
Germany led 11-7 but the Thais fought back and took the lead for good after the teams were locked at 20-20.

A wide shot from Scholzel gave Thailand three set points and they seized the second after Thinkaow blasted a kill down the middle of the court.

Thailand led by two points midway through the shortened fifth set but ran out of steam as Germany drew level at 8-8 and won seven of the last nine points to seal an unforgettable victory.

Thailand hosts the United States in their final Pool 11 match on Thursday while Germany takes on the Dominican Republic.

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