Okayama, Japan, August 14, 2010 – Germany returned to winning ways in the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix on Saturday with a simple straight sets (25-19, 25-14, 25-19) victory over Chinese Taipei at in Okayama, Japan.
It was only Germany's second win in the tournament. Chinese Taipei dropped to 0-5.
Captain Margareta Kozuch led the Germans with 20 points, including five on her service. Wu Ko Jou top-scored for Chinese Taipei with 10 points.
Chinese Taipei began strong, defending well and making a couple of decent blocks, and when Wu Ko Jou was given a chance to show her power she duly delivered. The Germans eventually began to lay down some big spikes, but despite their huge height advantage – nine of the 12 Germans are taller than all of the Taipei players – they were unable to take the advantage. Chinese Taipei were never more than three points adrift in the first two periods, drawing level at 12-12 and taking the lead at the first technical timeout with a block on Anne Matthes. But they cracked at 17-17 with three successive spiking errors. Two blocks by Heike Beier widened the gap to 23-18, a long serve by Chen brought set point and Corina Ssuschke finished off the set with a block on Teng Yen Min.
Three quick points at the start of the second set forced Chinese-Taipei coach Norimasa Sakakuchi to call a timeout, but the Germans were starting to find space at the net, allowing their big guns to drill spikes through the Taipei defense. In contrast, the Chinese-Taipei spikers were struggling to find any room at all. At 9-5, the Germans started to dominate while Chinese Taipei could offer only slight resistance. Germany streaked to a 17-5 lead, when Chen Wan Ting stopped the rot with a rare spike and a fine block on Tatjana Zautys. But the set was as good as over and Nadja Schaus finished things off with a hit down the middle.
To their credit, the Chinese Taipei players remained positive and had the edge over their opponents in the early stages of the third set, a service ace by Chen giving them an 8-4 lead at the first technical timeout. Aided by two receiving errors, the Germans closed the gap, but Chinese Taipei held on to a 14-12 lead when Maren Brinker scored two points with a tipover and a spike before a receiving error by Yang Meng Hua allowed Germany to go into the lead for the first time in the set. Wu kept her team in the running with some tough hitting and Chinese Taipei closed the gap to within two points at 20-18, but two big hits by German captain Margareta Kozuch put the set out of reach. A receiving error by Chen off Kathleen Weiss brought up matchpoint and Schaus finished things off with a spike.
On Sunday, Chinese Taipei face Japan while Germany clash with Poland, looking for revenge for their loss to the same side last weekend.