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China take victory in Montreux against Russia


Montreux, Switzerland, May 27, 2014 - Lang Ping’s national team have taken an important opening victory 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 16-25, 25-18, 15-9) against Russia’s young team.

Even with Russia’s Natalia Malykh’s score of 25 points, the Russians were not able to take advantage of this offensive power. China’s Zhu Ting’s scored 19 points for her side during the match.  

Asia’s top team started with a mix of more experienced and young players, whereas Russian national coach Yury Marichev wanted the newcomers to get more experience on the international level. Nevertheless, the match was still played to a very high level.

Both teams started with quick offensive games. China, however, played more prudently and as a consequence increased their early lead to 12-6. Russia’s Yury Marichev tried to force a turnaround, but Lang Ping’s players didn’t give away their advantage, winning the first set 25-22.

The game became even tighter in the second set. Both teams fought for every ball and tried to keep the own unforced error percentage down as low as possible. However, the Russians maintained their cool in the second set and tied the match with a 25-23 win.

The Russian motor was put into high gear, with Yury Marichev’s young players finding their rhythm, scoring kill after kill. Setter Ekaterina Kosianenko and her attackers Natalia Malykh as Iuliia Kiutikova too seemed to be unstoppable in Russia’s offensive game. As a consequence, the gold medallists at last year’s CEV European Championship won the third set 25-16.

The Chinese, however, were not ready to accept an early defeat against the young Russian team and Lang Ping’s players turned around the match committing less unforced errors.

With China putting more pressure on their opponent’s defence, the Russians started to struggle resulting in a high number of unforced errors. China took advantage of this to take the fourth set 25-18 forcing the match into a tie break.

China kept the rhythm of the fourth set to take an important early lead in the fifth and decisive set. The Russians were unable to find their way back and had to fight against an increasing deficit. Lang Ping’s team had even match points taking the final set 15-9.

The South East Asians play their second game of the 29th Montreux Masters on Wednesday against Olympic Champions Brazil.


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