OSAKA, Japan, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- China continued to stay in the third place in Pool F after hammering Azerbaijan in straight sets here Monday in the second round of the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship.
Meanwhile, four teams stayed unbeaten after seven matches each at the World Championship, including Italy and the Untied States from Pool F, and Serbia and the Netherlands from Pool E.
China and Azerbaijan previously had four encounters at world-level championships, with China winning each one of them, including hammering Azerbaijan in straight sets in the 2014 tournament.
The game on Monday was a rather lopsided one, with the scores of the three sets standing at 25-17, 25-16, 25-17 respectively.
The first set was tight at the beginning, but in the later half of the set, with Yuan Xinyue's serves, China scored a string of five straight points to expand the margin 23-16, and then settled the set 25-17.
In the second set, China built an early lead 7-2, and though Azerbaijan managed to narrow the gap trailing 14-16, China, with superb spikes of Zhu Ting and Zhang Changning, sealed the victory 25-16.
In the third set, Azerbaijan fought back hard and were leading for a while, but China soon turned the tide to lead 12-10 and then further expanded the margin to win 25-17.
"We were focused and served better today, and Azerbaijan didn't adjust well in face of our serves," said China coach Lang Ping after the game.
In three other Pool F matches on Monday, Russia edged Bulgaria 3-1, the United States trounced Turkey in straight sets, and Italy defeated Thailand 3-0.
Both with seven straight wins, Italy and the Untied States ranked first and second in Pool F, followed by China and Russia, each with six wins and one loss.
China will play the United States on Wednesday and Russia on Thursday, and after that, the top three teams of Pool F, along with the top three ones of Pool E, will advance to the third round of the tournament.
"We are prepared for the hardest situation, and are going to grab every possible point as we can," said Lang regarding the following two matches.
"The United States are old rivals, and we are quite familiar with each other. It will be a tough battle, and we will take our opponents seriously and do our best," said China's star spiker Zhu Ting.
Regarding Russia, Zhu said that the two teams were rather close in scores, and the Chinese team will try to reduce uncalled-for errors and "to be ourselves".
In the Pool E matches held in Nagoya on Monday, Serbia beat Germany 3-0, Brazil edged Mexico 3-1, the Netherlands dismantled the Dominican Republic in straight sets, while hosts Japan defeated Puerto Rico 3-0.
Serbia and the Netherlands, each with seven wins, led Pool E, followed by Japan with six wins and one loss, and Brazil with five wins and two losses.
The 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship kicked off on Sept. 29. During the first round of the tournament that ran through Oct. 4, the 24 participating teams played in four groups and the top four teams of each group advanced to the second round.
The 16 teams in the second round play in two groups and the top three teams of each group will advance to the third round.