China routs Russia 3-0, Netherlands stuns Brazil in FIVB World Cup

YOKOHAMA, Japan, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- China and the Netherlands both secured their third straight-set victories on Monday at the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup to sit first and second in the table of the round-robin tournament.

China dominated Russia 25-22, 25-16, 25-18 with wing spikers Zhu Ting and Zhang Changning scoring 21 and 17 points respectively. Nataliya Goncharova, who had 31 points from Russia's 3-2 victory over Japan on Sunday, was limited to nine points, while Irina Voronkova had a team-high 11 points.

After a close 25-22 win in the first set, China pressed ahead with waves of attacks while putting up a solid defense, and safely pocketed their third win of the tournament.

"It is always tough playing against Russia. Their players are tall and very strong in front of the net. We made careful preparations before this match, and we were good in serve and reception today," Chinese coach Lang Ping said.

The win lifted China to the top of the table, edging the Netherlands on point quotient.

The Dutch, featuring in the World Cup for only the second time, have impressed many, defeating powerhouses Brazil in straight sets. Lonneke Sloetjes was the most prolific player, scoring 25 points in the 25-23, 25-21, 25-22 triumph.

Elsewhere, despite being cheered by more than 10,000 fans at a full Yokohama Arena, Japan failed to resist the fierce attack of South Korea. Lee Jae-yeong and Kim Yeon-koung grabbed 26 and 22 points respectively in their 23-25, 25-19, 25-22, 27-25 win, Korea's first at the World Cup.

Earlier on Monday, Serbia had also had their first win of the tournament, as the world champions eased past Kenya 25-13, 25-11, 25-17, with 13 of its 14-strong roster stepping on the court. The back-to-back European champions were especially strong on serve, besting the African side eight to one.

"I'm really happy with how we played today to get our first win. It was important for us after two difficult matches against Brazil and the U.S.. But we came with the same attitude and showed how we can play at this high level for three days in a row. I'm also happy that some of our young players could feel this atmosphere at this level," said Serbia captain Ana Bjelica, who led the team with 11 points.

Elsewhere, the United States defeated Argentina 25-21, 25-18, 18-25, 25-11 to sit third in the table. Karsta Lowe, who earned herself a starting position in Team USA after an excellent match against Serbia, had a game-high 22 points.

Trailing from two sets down, Cameroon saved multiple match points in the fourth set to force a decider against the Dominican Republic. However, the African champions were still unable to grab their first win despite another two match points saved, losing 25-17, 25-15, 23-25, 28-30, 15-10.

The 12 participating teams will have a break on Tuesday and continue their quest on Wednesday in Yokohama and Hamamatsu.

[ Editor: SRQ ]


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