FIVB - Volleyball World Grand Prix 2012

MATCH INFO

China off to winning start at women's volleyball World Grand Prix Finals


Strong defensive performance helped China beat Cuba in four sets.

Ningbo, China, June 27, 2012 - The host China beat Cuba in straight sets in Ningbo for a winning start in the women's volleyball World Grand Prix final kicking off in China on Wednesday.

 

It took China only 73 minutes to book the first victory 25-22, 25-22 and 25-17 in the Grand Prix final.

 

It was hotly contested early with both teams playing efficient attacks. Wei Qiuyue's ace serve helped China lead the game at 9-6, but China's head coach Yu Juemin was forced into calling a time-out just minutes later as Cuba soon leveled the game with a series aggressive serves from Rosanna Giel Ramos.

 

Tied at 20-all, China held two points advantage and Ma Yunwen's kill gave China the set point with a speedy kill, then Zhang Lei converted it to the winning point at 25-22.

 

China got its offense at the start of the second set and managed to lead at 5-2 to force Juan Carlos Gala Rodriguez, head coach of Cuba, to call a time-out. But China held the leading trend firmly and led the game 8-4 and enlarged the gap to 16-9 to lead into the second TTO. With Zhang's powerful spike from middle of the net, China led at 19-14 and never looked back.

 

China showed strong determination to win in the third set and they took the lead 5-1 with two out-side spikes by Hui Ruoqi. Then the women's in red uniforms expanded their advantage to 15-9.

 

Cuba pulled back to get close to 11-15, but they wasted their chances to level the game with more spike and receiving errors.

 

Yang Junjing sparked a 4-1 run for China as she scored the China's last two points and Allegne Yanelis Santos served short to allow China seal the set 25-17.

 

Santos led the game with 18 points, including 12 kills and three blockes, Mendoza Yoana Palacios scored 13 points, but the Cuba duo could not stopped China's speedy attacks. Two middle-attackers of China Yang Junjing and Ma combined to take 20 points and wing-spiker Zhang added 10.

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