MATCH INFO

China reaches top eight with win over Asia rival Japan


China calmly walks on the court before gaining fire in a four-set victory over Japan

Lima, Peru, July 23, 2011 - China held a 29-5 block advantage over Japan to earn a 25-18, 17-25, 25-23, 25-17 victory Saturday evening in the third match on the second day of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Junior World Championship Peru 2011 being played in Lima, Peru.

The Chinese team got its second win in a row in Pool D and Japan is still with without a victory in the tournament. China is going to play against Dominican Republic in the first match of Pool D’s on Sunday, while Japan is going to close their first-round participation playing against Russia.

China's Zhou Yang was the top scorer with 26 points - including a stellar 14 blocks in the victory. Her teammate Yanchi Pi and Pixin Liu added 14 points each. Fumika Moriya was Japan's top scorer with 20 points. The Japanese captain Mari Horikawa and Saori Kaneko scored 14 points each.

In the second set, Japan recovered its image with some changes in the attack and they reached the top to 8-4 at the first technical time out. The winners of the bronze medal in the 2007 World Championship kept the score and then improved it until the second technical time out to 16-10, with good attack efficiency. China, with a setter change in the team, kept a very surprising precision in its velocity game and in the movements’ construction. Japan took advantage to the maximum for having the score of 22-13. China pushed harder until the 23-17, but Nippon girls finished after an intense rally as Fumika Moriya, the top scorer in the set with 8 points, closed the game 25-17 in 25 minutes for the tie.

The five-time winner of bronze medal in World Championship could not keep the rhythm at the beginning of the third set and reached the first technical time out with two points under the Chinese girls, whom also were five times in the third place of a podium. China reached a 15-11 advantage, but Japan got closer to 15-14 with the good performance in Horikawa’s attack and the setter Yanagidani making a great distribution in the game. The second technical time out started with a fast attack by the Chinese center to 16-14. The Chinese block allowed to be on top with two points, but some errors reversed the situation to the 20-19 in favor of Japan. At the end of the set, China's block stopped again Horikawa and got an advantage of 23-19. However, two mistakes in a row tied the set at 23-23. Another mistake, but from Japan and a Zhou Yang’ block (top set scorer with seven points) put the end to the set in favor of China with 25-23.

After a tough fourth-set beginning for Japan falling behind 7-2, the Nippon recovered their effectiveness and made it to the first technical time down only 8-6. However, China setter Di Yao played efficiently for the 15-9 lead and took her team to the 16-11 in the second technical time out. With a notable attack efficiently, China got the advantage with nine points at the 21-13 mark to be close to winning, while the extraordinary block of the Chinese Zhou Yang (five in the set, 13 in the match) made the rest of the job. Japan hung in with attacks and blocks until the 23-18, but made a mistake in one serve and then Xiaoya Zhang defined the set with a transition for the 25-19 victory in 26 minutes of set.


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