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China eases past Dominican Republic in World Grand Prix

Dominicana double block couldn't stop Wang Yimei's powful spike

Ningbo, China, July 31, 2009: China held off an under-form Dominican Republic to begin its World Grand Prix campaign with a 3-0 victory in Pool C on Friday evening.
   In front of nearly 5,000 home spectators at the nearly full-packed Ningbo Beilun Sports and Arts Center, the Chinese team won the match 25-12, 25-18, 25-19 in just 61 minutes.
   China's Xue Ming was the top scorer with 15 points, while De La Cruz de Pena Bethania had 11 points to lead the Dominican Republic.
   China jumped out to a 5-1 lead at the beginning of the first set, forcing Domincan Republic coach Kwiek Marcos to call an early timeout. After the break, things didn't improve for the visitors as middle blocker Xue Ming pulled off a series of brilliant blocks to help boost China's advantage to six points at the first TTO. The Chinese girls continued to dominate over the net as they pulled away to 16-7 by the second TTO before taking the set by a big margin of 13 points.
   In the second set, the Dominicans were obviously playing with good rhythm from the outset, establishing a 3-1 lead. But the Dominicans were again frustrated by the Chinese defense and were trailing 8-6 at the first TTO. Xue Ming contributed to more classy blocks and fercious spike Wang Yimei and Li Juan lifted China to a 16-11 lead at the second TTO. From there the Chinese team never looked dangerous, aided by a couple of Dominican errors.
  The Dominican Republic started the third set smoothly, winning three points in a row to build a quick lead. But China clawed back to level at 5-5 before reaching the first TTO 8-7 in front. After the Dominican Republic regained the lead at 14-12, Chinese coach Cai Bin called a timeout in an attempt to stablize his team, but it didn't seem to work as the Dominican Republic kept a three-point advantage by the second TTO. Opposite Hui Ruoqi then made two powerful spikes as China scored five consecutive points to go back into the driver seat (18-16). Leading 24-19, the Chinese closed the match with a successful smash from Hui.


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