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China end Poland's top four hopes

Poland's Joanna Kaczor struggles to beat the impressive Chinese defence led by Zhou Suhong

Tokyo, Japan, November 9, 2010 – China scored a 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-18) win over Poland in the second round of the FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 at Yoyogi Gymnasium in Tokyo on Tuesday.

The victory for Yu Juemin's team, who are only in contention for the semifinals for positions 5-8 at best, improved their record to 2-4 and brought them level with Poland who now have no chance of reaching the top four semifinals. Poland's Malgorzata Glinka-Mogentale and Anna Werblinska top-scored in the match with 17 points each while China's scoring was spread throughout the team with Ma Yunwen leading the way with 14 points.

FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page

China got into an early rhythm as Poland struggled to find their game. Werblinska did manage to land a trademark thunderbolt, but Glinka-Mogentale's first big hit came straight back at the Poles from Wei Qiuyue and landed in. Spikes by Li Juan and Ma Yunwen prompted Poland coach Jerzy Matlak to call a timeout with the score at 6-2, but his side fell further behind through a service ace from Zhou Suhong and Wei's block on Karolina Kosek.

Although Kosek made a couple of spikes and a good block on China ace Wang Yimei, well-placed winners by Xue Ming and Zhou had Matlak hauling his players off court again. Successive Polish piledrivers from Glinka-Mogentale and Werblinska prompted China coach Yu to bring his players off for a quick talk and China pulled away after that, moving to 21-11 when Katarzyna Gajgal sent a service long.

Yet suddenly the Chinese then lost their way. If Yu was worried enough at 21-14 to use up his last timeout of the set, he must have been a lot more worried when Poland pulled back to within two points at 23-21. Finally, Wang, who had been used sparingly, sent a spike through the excellent Poland defence to earn set-point. Gajgal sent a shot just wide and China were 1-0 up.

Poland rediscovered their form at the start of the second set, making for more of a contest. Glinka-Mogentale delivered a couple of bombs and Poland's blocking started to work very well. Ma landed a couple of shots for China, who stayed close, but two stupendous serves from Werblinska put Poland four points up at the Second Technical Timeout (STT).

Glinka-Mogentale kept driving Poland forward, but Wang and Li landed a couple of good shots each to keep Chinese hopes alive. Glinka-Mogentale spiked Poland to a 23-20 lead, but then she and Poland went off the boil and when the same player sent a shot long to put China within a point, Matlak called a timeout. After a big hit from Wang and another wayward shot by Glinka-Mogentale, China had set-point, prompting Matlak to call another timeout. But a powerful blast by Wang broke through the opposition block to put China 2-0 ahead.

China stayed on top at the start of the third set, although Glinka-Mogentale landed a couple of super spikes. But Wang also landed a major hit and a great block by Ma on Glinka-Mogentale put the Chinese three points ahead at the First Technical Timeout (FTT). Xue followed up with two blocks of her own to put China four points in front before Poland responded with a thunderbolt apiece from Werblinska and Glinka-Mogentale. Before long Matlak was dragging his players off court again, though, with a setting error and another great Chinese block – by Ma again – opening up a six-point gap.

Ma and Wang continued to drive China on with blocks and spikes and Matlak used up his last timeout at 20-12 in the hope of turning things around. But the Poles could only pull to within five points and when Werblinska sent a serve long, China had match point. Poland could not return Zhou's serve and China had a good win in their pocket.

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