Bari, Italy, October 4, 2014 – China held off Dominican Republic 3-2 in a clash between two previously unbeaten teams at Palaflorio Saturday afternoon for their eighth straight victory in the 2014 FIVB Women's Volleyball Women's Championship.With the hard fought 25-19, 25-19, 22-25, 20-25, 15-10 victory, the Chinese women snapped a four-match full-set winning streak of Dominican Republic, who suffered their first defeat in eight matches.Having secured their berth in the third phase, China now led second round pool E with 16 points while Dominican Republic were third on 12 points.Key Points:
· Bethania De La Cruz was the top scorer of the match with 37 points while Zhu Ting led China with 23 points.
· China outblocked Dominican Republic 14-7.
· In major competitions, Dominican Republic have beaten China only once in 16 attempts. In the preliminary round of the 2010 World Grand Prix, the Caribbean side pulled off a five-set win.· All twelve Chinese players played against Dominican Republic on Saturday.· Dominican Republic had played five tie-breaks in eight matches in this World Championship.· Before this match, China had dropped only two sets against Japan in the World Championship.
In the opening set, after a little break from the Caribbeans (3-5), China went ahead at 8-5 at the first TTO. They improved the gap to 11-6 thanks to an attack of middle blocker Yang Junjing. Marcos Kwiek's team tried to recover with Valdez Vargas's block and Casilla Mambru's attack at 13-12 and overcame the Asians at the second TTO thanks to Prisilla Rivera (16-15). But China regained control (21-17) and closed the opener at 25-19 with Zeng Chunlei.
In the second set there was a good start for China (6-3), but they had only one-point advantage at the first TTO. When De La Cruz served, six points in sequence put the Queens of the Caribbean ahead at 16-12. Lang Ping changed her setter Wei Qiuyue and her opposite Zeng Chunlei with Shen Jingsi and Yang Fangxu. China tied the draw at 17-17 and surpassed at 20-18 forcing coach Kwiek to call a timeout. Two aces of Wang Huimin and an attack of Zhu Ting put the second set at 25-19.
A Chinese block brought them ahead at 12-8. The Dominicans recovered at 14-14 and overcame the opponents at 15-14. Coach Lang Ping changed the diagonal setter-opposite again and the Asians took the lead at 19-15. The Caribbeans came close to 19-18 and a lot of attacks of Bethaina De La Cruz awarded the third set (25-22) to them. She was the top scorer of the match with 37 points.
The Dominicans started in a strong fashion (5-2) but three blocks in a row brought China close to 7-6, all thanks to Yuan's serve. The American team went ahead at 16-13 at the second TTO. De La Cruz added the 20th point. After a long extra break, an ace of De La Cruz gave them the tiebreak at 25-20.
China went ahead at 8-4 at the TTO and Zhu Ting closed the match at 15-10. But the last set was fought till the very end.