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China's women's volleyball team beats Serbia to start medal hunt

07-28-2012 22:05 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

LONDON, July 28 (Xinhua) -- China went off to a solid start to their medal quest by upsetting Serbia 3-1 in the Olympic women's volleyball tournament on Saturday, when Chinese top spiker Wang Yimei returned to court after being out for three months with an ankle injury.

The Chinese, champions in the 2004 Athens Games and bronze medal winners in Beijing, rallied to win 16-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-12.

Middle blocker Xu Yunli scored 17 points for China, the highest among her teammates, and Milena Rasic is Serbia's best scorer with 14 points.

Wang, whose powerful spikes was a constant threat to Serbia, scored 11 points including two ace serves.

The Serbians showed strong determination to win from the first minute and they took an 8-3 lead with powerful spikes and solid blocks by wing spiker Brankica Mihajlovic and middle blocker Milena Rasic.

Chinese women, however, seemed quite nervous with chains of errors to allow their European opponents to expand their advantage to 13-3.

China staged a 7-5 run to catch up to 10-18, but their service and spike errors cost them much. With an unanswered spikes of Brankica Mihajlovic, Serbia took the set 25-16.

The Chinese recovered its rhythm and fought back strongly in the second set to take the lead 8-4 with Wang's powerful serves. They left the Serbians no time to adapt to their renowned fast-attack style and enlarged their advantage to 22-15 with sound blocks and tricky drops of middle blocker Xu Yunli and Opposite hitter Zhang Lei.

Serbia staged a 3-1 run to catch up 18-23. But China wasted no chance to take the set 25-18 with Wang's lethal spike and a duo-block with Xu.

The Chinese spikers started to showcase fatal offense and solid block in the third set, which made it difficult for Brankica Mihajlovic and Milena Rasic to execute. They took the set 25-13.

The determined Chinese exhibited ever higher quality play plus the powerful service of Wang, while the Serbians still could not find the way to catch up with the crafty quick attack. With an attack mistake, Serbia surrendered the fourth set and the match 25-12.

Besides Serbia, China will play in the same pool in London along with defending champion Brazil, world No.1 U.S., Turkey and South Korea. Italy, Russia, Japan, Algeria, the Dominican Republic and host Britain make up the other six-team pool. The top four teams to emerge out of each pool will play the quarterfinals.

Earlier in the morning, Japan harvested an easy win over Algeria 25-15, 25-14, 25-7 in the opener of the event.



Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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