FIVB - Women's Volleyball World Cup 2011

MATCH INFO

China hand Japan another heartbreaking loss


Hui Ruoqi led China with 23 points against Japan, being awarded the Most Impressive Player title in the process

Hiroshima, Japan, November 6, 2011 - World No. 6 China continued their amazing dominance over Japan with an incredible come-from-behind victory 3-21 (20-25, 25-19, 20-25, 25-23, 15-13) against hosts Japan in the final match of round one in Hiroshima on Sunday.

Asia champions China had a 38:6 win:loss record against Japan going into the match, including wins in the Asia Championship final and last year's WorldChampionship, and they maintained that impressive record with great stamina and determination by fighting back from 11-9 down in the fifth set to win the tie breaker.

The two Asian rivals arrived at this point with one thing in common: both had dropped difficult matches to the very skilled Italian squad but the young China squad found something special to ruin the day for the boyous Japan fans.

Hui Ruoqi led China with 23 points, supported by Wang Yimei with 18. For Japan, Saori Kimura led all scorers with 24 and Yukiko Ebata notched 21 on the day before her 23rd birthday.

China targeted Saori early, with both Zhang Lei and Yang sending attacks her way to help China out front. But Saori wasn’t fazed as she and Ebata attacked furiously to help Japan draw even at 11. Later Nana Iwasaki would step up to drive one off China’s block to put the home side up three, prompting a China timeout. But Japan would go on to close 25-20 powered by nine points in the set from Ebata.

In the second, China’s Wang got in on the action firing away on the left giving China a slight edge early again. But Risa Shinnabe and Iwasaka found an answer as both put blocks on Wang for scores to bring Japan even. Saori threw down pocket aces to help Japan jump out to a 15-11 lead, but led by Hui’s great play up front, China would score seven straight which quietened the home crowd. This started a run that saw them take 14 of the last 18 points in the set to close it 25-19, one set all.

In the third set the teams started tentatively, but Risa would eventually give Japan an edge with a block and a spike to put her side up 16-12. Supersub Hitomi Nakamichi brought spectacular defense off the bench as a pair of diving digs led to scores from Ebata and Maiko Kano. Japan clung to their slim lead, winning the set 25-20 on a well-placed ace from Iwasaka.

The fourth set saw Saori spring into action with a trio of blasts early to make it 8-6 to Japan at the first TTO. Iwasaka helped stretch the lead with her second ace and a spectacular block on Yang Junjing. But Zhang Lei and Xu Yunli came up with blocks of their own to put China back ahead 19-18. Wang pitched in with two late points (of seven in the set) to help square it out 25-23 to make it 2-2.

In the fifth set Ebata helped Japan ahead early and at 11-9 the hopes of the home crowd were certainly high however this is when things turned for the worse as Hui brought China even at 11-11 painting the sideline with a drive. From there China opened out to 14-12 and it was game over. Yang Junjing drove home the decider to take the set 15-13, and the match to spark memorable scenes of celebration.

Women’s World Cup Results/Standings, Match Info, Photos or Live Scoring


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