Shortened volleyball calendar in China caused an early beginning of the playoffs in the female league – the 2019/20 Super League.
Tianjin swept champions Beijing in Game 1 of the best-of-three playoff semifinals by a 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-23). Even though they played the last several games without their major star Zhu Ting (injured her wrist in the FIVB Club World Championship), Tianjin was the only team to finish the regular season with a perfect score (4-0 in the preliminary stage and 6-0 in the Top 8), which gave them No.1 in Pool F. Beijing were second-placed in Pool A (4-2 in Pool E). Zhu recovered on time and led Tianjin to a win today with 23 points, making 90% reception (10 digs, 70% excellent) and 75% attack (21/28).
In the other semifinal, Shanghai (No.1 in Pool E) beat Guangdong (No.2 in Pool F) in four sets, with each ending on a 2-point difference in the favor of one of the teams. German Louisa Lippmann (25 points) top-scored for the winning side. Russian superstar Tatyana Kosheleva didn’t play much for Guangdong in the match. It’s still unknown was it due to some injury or for other reasons, but she wasn’t a starter and entered the court only in the 2nd and 3rd set as a backup.
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