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Lang Ping was a phenomenal player as she is a coach - Sykora

Chinese players' spirits are high as they remain unbeaten alongside Japan after two weeks of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix

Lausanne, Switzerland, August 15, 2013 – Former USA international Stacy Sykora says her former coach "Jenny" Lang Ping is the key behind China's renewed success in the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix as she looks ahead to week three of the FIVB's premier annual voilleyball tournament for women, which starts on Friday.

“In my last blog I said that I thought that the World Grand Prix would be more intense and you could see that was the case in the type of volleyball played. There are many great teams in this tournament but in competition, one team wins and one team loses. Although China and Japan have won all their matches they both had to surive 3-2 encounters. Their respective opponents, Turkey and Germany are great teams as well. There will be more matches like this in the third week because many teams will fight to make it to the final week.

“On the defeat of Brazil against Bulgaria last weekend, one factor that Brazil should remember is that the past is the past and it does not matter what they did yesterday, it matters what you do right now. That is what makes a good team, win or lose. They prepare the same and play with the same intensity and fight. Good or bad, it is still the past and cannot be changed. There will be upsets, defeats, victories – but the question is, what will happen tomorrow?

“I think that it is great that China and Japan have remained undefeated. This shows that they are playing as a team and are playing well together. They are very prepared for their competitors and are executing their game plan. I believe that they are successful because the players are all on the same page. They are all mentally and physically prepared. They are playing together as a team and not as individuals.

“For China, Jenny Lang Ping is the key. She was a phenomenal player as she is a coach. She just knows the game. She knows how to play and how to coach as well. She is one of the best. The Chinese team now is very fortunate to have the opportunity to be coached by Jenny. I think that they are a strong team and I am positive that Jenny has a lot to do with the success so far of the Chinese team. I learned many things from Jenny and she is a big reason why we got the silver medal in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

"Jenny taught us how to be a team, how to help one another.  She studied each team so well that when we played against them it was like we knew what they were going to do before they did it. We studied the game of volleyball and she was our teacher. A great teacher. We were a physically strong team but she made us a mentally strong team as well.

“I think that it was also a great win for USA against Serbia because they are young and their opponents were undefeated at that time. Any win at this point is crucial for each and every team. I think USA is playing well together and gaining vital experience for their young players. Once again, teams win games, individuals cannot and will not win alone.

“I think all of the pools in the third week are going to have some great volleyball matches, but since China and Japan are undefeated and matching up against a few of the top teams, I believe those groups in Sendai and Wuhan are the two great pools. It will be interesting to see which teams will make it to the Finals.”

Previous FIVB blogs

Stacy Sykora - Pressure on in second week of World Grand Prix
Stacy Sykora - USA just need to play their game
Andrea Zorzi: The start of an era
Andrea Zorzi: “This time Brazil won’t lose” – Andrea Zorzi
Sandra Pires: “Experience, technique and solid team play - still viable in the long run” 
Sara Goller: Goller backs Chen Xue and Zhang Xi for World Champs gold

Sinjin Smith: Sinjin Smith: Beach Volleyball undergoing a changing of the guard
Nikola Grbic: “Serbia will play even better in the coming weeks” – Grbic
Gustavo Endres: Brazil on track to win World League title – Gustavo
Tom Hoff: “If there’s anyone who can do it, it’s John Speraw” - Hoff
Andrea Zorzi: Teams must 'give their all at every opportunity’ says Zorzi
Martin Laciga: ‘It was a result which I for one was not expecting to see’ – Martin Laciga

Natalie Cook: Bring on the World Cup – Nat Cook
Sinjin Smith: Sinjin Smith: 'There’s a lot of excitement this season'
Andrea Zorzi: Russia capable of dominating the volleyball world over the next few years 

Tom Hoff: Change is difficult, but also necessary
Andrea Zorzi: Italy, Poland, Russia & Brazil picks for World League – Zorzi
Martin Laciga: Expect a Fuzhou-repeat in Shanghai
Natalie Cook: Natalie Cook pleased with “A great start to the new season”
Sandra Pires: “2013 can be anyone’s year” says Sandra Pires
Virna Dias: Virna predicts another great year for Olympic champs Brazil

Andrea Zorzi: Andrea Zorzi looks forward to this year’s World League action
Stacy Sykora: Women’s volleyball looking forward to bumper year
Natalie Cook: Keep an eye on the Chinese in 2013
Hugh McCutcheon: Feeling good about US women’s coach
Martin Laciga: It's time to pass the ball to younger players
Tom Hoff: This is volleyball, and anything can happen
Stacy Sykora: “USA just need to play their game” – Stacy Sykora



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