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China win Asian battle to play for Women's U23 title

China's Wang Qi contributed 12 points in the victory over Japan in straight sets on Friday
Tijuana, Mexico, October 11, 2013 – China beat Japan in straight sets (27-25, 26-24, 25-13) and will play against Dominican Republic for the gold medal of the FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship Open at Baja California High Performance Center.

The first two sets were a real battle between the two Asian teams but the third set was a one-way street in favor of China, the only undefeated team in the competition.

Liu Yanhan topped the scoring charts of China with 18 points, including three blocks, while Wang Qi and Yang Zhou charted 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Sarina Koga was the only Japanese player to finish with double figures in the match with 10 points, followed by Saori Takahashi with 9 tallies.

China out-blocked Japan 10-3 but the defeated side was slightly better in the aces category 7-5. 

Soga helped Japan to take an 8-6 advantage in the first set. China came back on the shoulders of Wang Qi to take a 13-11 lead. Japan tied up at 15-all with the service winner by Nozomi Ito but Liu Yanhan gave back the margin to China at 16-15. The close battle went on until China finally won the first set 27-25 with blocks y Yanhan and Qiao Ting against Sarina Soga and Asuka Nomura.

China’s Yang Zhou landed her spike to break a tie at 7-7 in the second set. Yurie Nabeya and Saori Takahashi swung for two spikes and the 16-14 advantage for Japan at the second technical stop. Japan expanded the distance to 23-19, but Gu Xinwei, Yanhan and Yao Di closed the gap at 23-22 and finally China won 26-24 with two spikes of Wang Qi off Japan’s block.

In the third set, Qiao Ting served one ace to give China an 8-6 advantage. The Chinese team increased the difference to 16-11. Gu Xinhue served one ace and Qiao Ting blocked Suzuka Hashimoto. Liu Yanhan scored with her spike to expand the gap to two digits at 21-11 and the rest was history. China won the third set by a landslide 25-13.

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