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Women’s World Cup: China, USA on course after Day 4

Number one: China take the top spot after 4 days of competition
Yokohama and Hamamatsu, Japan, September 18, 2019 – China and USA continued their unbeaten run to firm up their 2019 campaign for the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Cup. 

China stay on top of the rankings without dropping a single set in four days of play. The Rio 2016 Olympic champions and World Cup title-holders staged a straight-sets match (25-19, 25-21, 25-19) against Dominican Republic. 

Coach Lang Ping shared that the team prepared well for Wednesday’s match. 

“The Dominican Republic has many experienced players, so we focused on that,’” she said. 

China’s Zhu Ting committed maximum effort as captain and chief scorer, sending 20 points on the board. Nineteen-year old Li Yingying added 11 more points, mostly off her strong, left-handed spikes. In Site B Hamamatsu, back-to-back VNL champions USA defeated Netherlands 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-19), to rank second in the standings. Teams started off evenly, showing parallel power in attacks and blocks. The first set went down the wire with a two-point advantage off Jordan Larson‘s ace and the Netherlands’ error. Larson, together with Kelsey Robinson formed the duo that sparked USA’s system. Celeste Plak was fielded in to strengthen the Dutch side. However, the Larson-Robinson connection continued to weave magic for the Americans, each yielding 16 points.

The USA captain spoke about maintaining good momentum and consistent play across the two-week long competition.
Larson helped team USA with 16 points in Wednesday’s victory

“It’s a huge confidence boost, but what’s important about this tournament is that we keep staying consistent and keep getting better every single match. I think we’ve seen that against Kenya, Argentina, etc. that we are continuing to improve is such a huge thing for us. As long as we keep doing that then that’s what’s important for us in this tournament,” said Larson. Russia improved to 3-1, winning 3-0 (25-18, 29-27, 25-12) against Korea in the first match in Yokohama. The European side dominated on scoring fronts, but they are also improving in defence, receiving well even against quick plays.
Happy times for the Russians with win no. 3

Korea played with their captain and prime scorer Kim Yeon Koung on the bench but she said this is generally part of their plan. 

“When I am not playing, I can continue to support my team. Many young players were in the court today and they can gain good experience this way,” she said.

Brazil likewise bagged their third win, with a 3-0 match (25-20, 25-17, 25-14) over Kenya. Mara Leao (14 points) and Amanda Francisco (12 points) led the Brazilians in the victory. 

Serbia picked up their second win as they took 3-1 (25-15, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23) against Argentina in the opener in Hamamatsu. 

Europe’s current champions looked strong, dictating their own tempo during the first set. Argentina fought back to keep the scores tight, but Serbia captain Ana Bjelica was once again, in form, with 29 points in the match. 

In the last of Wednesday’s line-up of matches. hosts Japan booked their second win, taking 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-20) on African champions Cameroon.

Not even the pouring rain can stop the spectators from enjoying their share of World Cup action

Thursday marks the last day of competition in Yokohama and Hamamatsu. Site A moves to Sapporo while Site B matches are scheduled in Toyama. All twelve teams meet up in Osaka for the last stop in the competition’s single-round robin format.

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