Hosts China ease to 2nd straight victory, S. Korea win too at women's VNL

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-17 00:15:37|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BEILUN, East China, May 16 (Xinhua) -- World No. 1 China claimed their second 3-0 win over Belgium here on Wednesday after as many matches at the inaugural FIVB women's Volleyball Nations League, as coach Lang Ping made a dare move to send all her players on court.

The tune was set in as early as the first set when a block from the 20-year-old blocker Wang Yuanyuan helped China race out to a 15-5 lead before a kill from middle blocker Yuan Xinyue stretched the advantage to 18-7.

Middle blocker Yuan, 21, who joined teenage sensation Li Yingying in the starting lineup while Lang rested several seniors including captain Zhu Ting, performed an all-round play to score team-high 15 points with 10 spikes, 2 blocks and 3 aces in the 25-14, 25-20, 25-13 victory.

The national newcomer Li, just 18 years old, chopped off 14 points after 10 kills and 2 blocks, and Yang Fangxu racked up seven offensive points before being substituted in the third set.

Opposite hitter Kaja Grobelna led Belgium with 17 points while the energetic Britt Herbots tallied six and Laure Flament added another five.

"Yes, we had sent all players onto the court today. As we had said before the competition, we wanted to give our newbies opportunity to gain experience during the match," confirmed China's on-court captain Liu Xiaotong after the match.

Coach Lang did not try to hide her intention to test the depth of talent in her squad, either.

"I had asked Meng Zixuan (libero, 21 years old), she's not satisfied with her first dig last night, but I sent her up again today, twice," said Lang. "She did a good job this time!"

"It was indeed the process that a competitive player would undergo. I hoped that more young players could have the chance to play on the court in the following matches," added the 58-year-old, who led China to the Olympic title in Rio Olympics.

Earlier in the afternoon, South Korea pulled back from trailing 2-1 on sets to beat Dominica 3-2 in the other Pool 2 match of day-2 competitions, thanks to the 29 points scored by captain Kim Yeon Koung.

The 30-year-old, who played for Shanghai women's club in the Chinese League last season after a spell with Turkey's Fenerbahce, delivered 26 spikes and 3 blocks to score the team-high points, though is one point short from the Dominican wing spiker Elizabeth Martinez Brayelin.

It took the South Korean team 155 minutes to nail down the Dominicans 26-24, 25-27, 21-25, 25-14, 15-12, which is their first victory in the inaugural VNL after the straight sets defeat to Belgium on Tuesday.

"After losing our first game here, we made some big changes in tactics and did well analyze the attack-defense system to make improvements," commented Kim after the game.

"It's really difficult (to win in five sets), especially after yesterday's defeat which made us a little bit upset since we were expecting we could win or something. So today we tried our best for the game against Dominica for the block and defense," she added.

On Thursday, the South Korean team will meet China while Belgium take on Dominica on the third and final day here in Pool 2.