Olympic champion trio lead Jiangsu into National Games semis

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-26 22:42:31|Editor: Yurou
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TIANJIN, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Three Rio Olympic champions Zhang Changning, Gong Xiangyu and Hui Ruoqi combined for 59 points here Saturday afternoon to lead Jiangsu into the semifinals of the women's volleyball tournament at the 13th Chinese National Games.

Zhang had 20 kills in 47 attempts to score a team-high 23 points while Gong and Hui contributed 18 points each in Jiangsu's 25-21, 26-28, 25-19, 25-27 and 15-9 victory over Shandong in two hours and 15 minutes.

"Actually, I did not play very well today," said Zhang. "I paid a lot of attention to my receiving, maybe that's why I was kind of limited in attacking."

"Shandong played a great game, they made a lot of trouble for us," added Zhang. "Trailing or leading, they kept fighting. I think we should learn from their fighting spirits."

After finishing first in preliminary Group A, the Chinese league title holders Jiangsu entered the quarterfinal as clear favorites. However, Shandong, the fourth and bottom finishers from preliminary Group B, came close of pulling off a big upset. After a 25-all draw in the fourth set, Song Meili had two smashes in a row to force a tiebreaker.

Both sides were tied at 8-all in the decisive fifth set before Jiangsu concluded the match with a 7-1 burst, during which their spikers stuffed Shandong's Wang Fengxiao three times.

Song finished with a game-high 33 points for Shandong, but her efforts turned out to be in vain as Jiangsu outblocked Shandong 13-6.

Also in the quarterfinals, Shanghai rallied past Zhejiang 3-1, Liaoning swept Fujian 3-0 and Beijing beat Tianjin 3-1.

In Sunday's semifinals, Liaoning will take on Shanghai and Jiangsu will play Beijing.