Home » GP F6: China beat Serbia in first match of World Grand Prix Finals

GP F6: China beat Serbia in first match of World Grand Prix Finals

by WoV
source: fivb.org; Photo: fivb.org

China beat Serbia 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-17, 25-20) in the opening match of the Final Round of the FIVB World Grand Prix in Sapporo

Lei Zhang serves against Serbia

Lei Zhang serves against Serbia

China moved into a five-point lead in first set at 23-18 and after a short wobble – and China’s second timeout at 23-20 – a spike by Hui Ruoqi brought up setpoint. Zhang Lei then hammered a shot down the middle to put China 1-0 up.

After Xu made two good blocks at the start of the second set, Jovana Brakočević started to find her range and Serbia led by two at the first TTO. Two big blows by Brakočević saw Serbia three points ahead at the second TTO and they managed to hold on to the end, Brakočević scoring the last three points to hold off China’s late rally.

Serbia’s coach wasn’t happy at the start of the third set as his team fell behind 7-2. Lefty Zeng Chunlei added some power to China’s offence and China were 10 points ahead at 23-13. After a brief run by Serbia, a spike by Yang Junjing and a soft tipover by Xu put China 2-1 up.

Serbia started the fourth set positively with two brutal blows by Nataša Krsmanović and Brakočević and an amazing recovery shot by Maja Ognjenović. China were successful in the second video challenge of the match and that helped them into a five-point lead at the second TTO. Serbia showed glimpses of their attacking form but the gap was too big to close against the resilient Chinese. A block by Yin Na brought matchpoint and Xu finished things off.

China outblocked Serbia 15-9 and outserved them 6-3.

Xu Yunli led China with 19 points, while Jovana Brakočević scored 23 for Serbia.

To read more news from this competition click on World Grand Prix 2013.

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