Home » GP F6: China ended USA’s three-year run as champions

GP F6: China ended USA’s three-year run as champions

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

USA’s three-year run as champions of the FIVB World Grand Prix ended in Sapporo as they suffered their third straight loss. This time they were beaten 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-17) by China at “Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center”. It was China’s third straight win in the Finals.

Yang spikes beside Murphy's block

Yang spikes beside Murphy’s block

China started very confidently and blitzed the Americans in the opening phase, surging to an 8-1 lead at the first technical timeout. But the Americans started to find a bit of rhythm after the break and closed the gap to three points at 9-6. China pulled away again and was seven points ahead at the second TTO. A great block by Lauren Gibbemeyer on Zhu saw the Americans close to 20-18 but that was as close as they could get.

In the second set Americans zipped into a 4-0 lead. But their errors allowed China to draw level at 9-9 and 11-11. However, they couldn’t take the lead. USA was 18-14 ahead before three straight points by Zhu brought China back into the game. Some brilliant defence saw China take the lead for the first time at 23-22 and a spike by Zhu brought set point at 24-23. Zhu then blocked Kimberly Hill – for her 19th point of the match – to put China 2-0 up.

USA streaked into a 6-1 lead in the third set, prompting Lang Ping to call a timeout. China survived USA’s second challenge of the set and overturned a six-point deficit at the first TTO to draw level at 9-9 and they went ahead at 12-11. Kiraly called a timeout at 18-15 after a three-point break by China but USA couldn’t get back into the game.

USA had the edge in blocking points (8-7) and service points (4-3) but committed 18 errors to China’s 13.

China was led by Zhu Ting with 23 points and while USA’s top scorer was Kelly Murphy with 11.

For more news from this competition, click on World Grand Prix 2013.

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