China rally past Japan 3-2 to win pool D


China's Xu Yunli and Zeng Chunlei celebrate.

Bari, Italy, September 28, 2014 – China rallied past Japan in a five-set thriller here Sunday afternoon for their fifth straight win at the 2014 FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship.
With the hard fought 3-2 (25-16, 18-25, 25-27, 25-17, 15-11) victory, the Chinese women finished on top of pool D at PalaFlorio in Bari.
Key Points:
· Zhu Ting was the top scorer of the match (29 points), one more than Japanese Kimura Saori.
· China revenged on their 3-0 loss to their Asian arch-rivals at the World Grand Prix Finals in Tokyo last month.
· China reaped 19 points from blocking, compared to 2 for Japan.
· Despite the loss, Japan finished second in pool D with three wins against two losses.

The “jumping float service” of Zeng Chunlei gave a lot of troubles to the Japanese defence (9-3). Coach Manabe Masayoshi changed the setter Miyashita Haruka with Nakamishi Hitomi. A block of Xu Yunli on Nagaoka Miyu improved China's lead (13-6). An attack error of Hui Ruoqi allowed Japn pull within 15-11 and forced coach Lang Ping to call the timeout. Zhu Ting came up big again to pull her team at 19-12 up. Zeng won the opening set (25-16).

In the second set Maname preferred wing spiker Ebata Yukiko. Japanese women improved their defence and attack. When the opponents were ahead, coach Lang Ping called twice the timeout (5-2 and 12-6). After a central attack of Yang Fangxu (12-9), Hinotori Nippon maintained their aggressiveness and defending play, winning the set thanks to an error of Yang (25-18).
After a good start (3-0) in the third set, Japan suffered the Chinese block. Lang Ping's team overtook the lead at 10-5. After Japan pulled within 11-9 with a 4-1 run, the Chinese women surged away again and a kill of Hui Ruoqi pushed them up at 19-15. Trailing by 23-20, Japan ran off four points in a row through fantastic servies of Ishii Yuki. Zeng Chunlei beat off two set points for China, only to find Kimura Saori converted on the third by driving a ball out off bounds.
The fourth set saw Zeng and Zhu lead China to a lead at 11-8, but Japan soon pulled within 11-10. China regained in control at 19-14 and a Zhu Ting block earned the last point for China. (25-17).
In the decider, China raced to a 10-4 lead thanks to some fine blocks of Zhu and never looked back. Zhu had a smash to wrap up the match in two hours and eight minutes.


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