USA's World Grand Prix preparations take a tumble in China
Guangzhou, China, February 2 , 2010 – USA's preparation for the FIVB World Grand Prix had another hiccup on Tuesday as China’s Evergrande women's Volleyball club beat the visitors in straight sets (25-23, 25-14, 25-19) in Guangzhou, China.
The host team, coached by Lang Ping who led the US national team to an Olympic silver medal in Beijing 2008, gained victory over current USA coach Hugh McCutcheon, who had led the USA men’s team to Olympic gold in 2008.
Admittedly, the US team visiting China is a very young squad, almost unrecognisable from the former national team, and they have very little international experience. Despite this though, Evergrande still had to work hard during the match, which was televised live by CCTV Sports Channel in front of a capacity crowd of 8,000 fans, relying on several former Chinese stars such as Feng Kun, opposite Zhou Suhong and wing spiker Yang Hao.
“Jenny’s players have rich experience of the international scene, and better skill," said McCutcheon after the match. "It is natural that Evergrande clinched the victory.
“We also learned a lot, my young players have witnessed how high the level of world Volleyball is, and the big gap there is between this and club level," the New Zealander added. "We wish to come here again and play a better game.”
Earlier, Team USA had played a practice match against Evergrande Volleyball on Sunday, also losing 3-1 (26-24, 25-23, 21-25, 26-24).
The 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix runs from August 6-29 with the finals taking place in Ningbo, China.