FIVB - Volleyball World Grand Prix

Press release

China win against Serbia for best ever World Grand Prix start


China's win gave them their best ever start to the World Grand Prix

Wuhan, China, August 18, 2013 – China successfully defended the only remaining unbeaten record in the 2013 World Grand Prix with a 3-2 (25-17, 25-27, 25-20, 23-25, 15-5) win against Serbia.

They were made to work hard, but it was China's first victory against Serbia in the World Grand Prix, confirmed their best ever start to the competition with nine consecutive victories and gave them first place in the qualification round.

Zhu Ting's strong spike opened the first set for China and Liu Congcong also added points as China were ahead 
8-3 at the first technical time-out.

Sanja Malagurski's blocks were unable to stop China's attacks as they moved ahead 11-5 and then 16-8 at the second technical time-out. Zeng Chunlei's strong smash ended the first set 25-17 to China.

Zhu Ting's strong blocks started the second set for China and they led 8-5 at the first technical time-out. Stefana 
Veljkovic's blocks were important for Serbia as they shortened the gap to 10-8, but China still led by two points, 16-14 at the second technical time-out.

Errors on China's spikes tied the match at 16-16 and Serbia strengthened their blocks and spikes to win the second set 27-25 and level the match at 1-1.

The third set was close throughout, although when Serbia moved into a 10-7 lead, China called a time-out. By the second technical time-out China had moved into a 
16-15 lead, and with Zhu Ting prominent again, China moved away to take the third set 25-20.

In the fourth set, China needed persistent spikes and blocks to keep the match close after a strong start by Serbia and turned that into a 16-13 lead at the second technical time-out, but Serbia responded to grab the fourth set 25-23 and force the match into a tie-break.

China absolutely dominated the tie-break, and eventually took the deciding set 15-5 to close out a 3-2 win.

Zhu Ting (18) and captain Hui Ruoqi (18) were China's leading scorers, but Serbia's Ana Bjelica was the match's top scorer with 28 points.

A 3-2 defeat means Serbia qualify for the tournament finals in Sapporo in third place with 23 points, behind China and Brazil.

2013 World Grand Prix Tournament page 
2013 World Grand Prix Live Scorebox 
2013 World Grand Prix Schedule 
FIVB World Rankings 
FIVB World Grand Prix Media Guide

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