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World League 2002 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Spain beat China 3-2 (29-27, 17-25, 18-25, 25-23, 18-16) - duration 2:12
20-Jul, start time: 19:30, end time: 21:42 - Attendance: 5,000
Spain holds China to a 3-2 victory in 2-hour marathon
The young Chinese team went out confident in their match against Spain after winning against a strong Italian team in the last tie, driving the Spaniards to a marathon 3-2 victory after claiming the second and third set.
Lu Fei and Wang Haichuan's solid blocks thwarted Spain's spiking attempts in the opening stages and China took the first time-out at 8-5. Then when Spain made two service mistakes, China strenthened the back court spiking and charged to a 16-14. Sharp spike attacks by Luis and Guillrmo levelled the score 23-23, before Spain turned up the heat to take the first set 29-27.
Jump serves by Shi Hairong and Shen Qiong's then gave China an early 8-3 advantage in the second set. Then China quickened their spiking rhythm, which foiled the Spanish block. Spain then made several mistakes in service and reception, which put China in front and allowed them to level 1-1 by taking the second set 25-17.
Spain's attempts at the net with the block of Luis and Petro was not enough to counter service and reception errors in the face of a strong Chinese offensive with lightning spikes and timely blocking, which gave them a 16-12 lead. Shi Hairong and Lu Fei's tight blocking successfully kept Spain's spiking efforts at bay and Spain served the ball out to give the third set to China 25-18.
In the fourth set, Spain applied pressure and superior technical skills to go ahead 16-13 only to see China close the gap to 22-23. Then a soft service by China let Spain back in and they closed out the match 25-23 to force the tiebreaker. By then experience prevailed over youthful exuberance and Spain smoothly disposed of China 18-16 in a match that was supported by an enthusiastic crowd of 5,000 in a packed Geihang Gymnasium.
/mh