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China beats Japan in semis of FIVB Volleyball Women's U23 Worlds

2013-10-12 14:41 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

China defeated Japan 3-0 on Saturday in the semifinal of the FIVB Volleyball Women's U23 World Championship at Baja California High Performance Center in Tijuana, northwestern Mexico.

The first two sets were a real battle between the two Asian teams but China survived and won both with a narrow margin of 27-25 and 26-24.

With two sets in hand, the third was a one-way street in favor of China, which is the only undefeated team in the competition and won the set with a comfortable 25-13.

Liu Yanhan topped the scoring charts of China with 18 points, including three blocks, while Wang Qi and Yang Zhou charted 12 and 11 points, respectively. Sarina Koga was the only Japanese player to finish with double figures in the match with 10 points.

"It was really a tough match and we had very good preparation before it," said China's captain Yao Di after the game, adding that at the beginning these two teams more or less played the same.

"We are very happy to win this match and tomorrow we will do our best at the finals," she said.

Meanwhile, China's coach Xu Jiande said the match is difficult because the Japanese team had a better technique and Chinese team learned more from them.

"I think our players are taller than the Japanese and that was a key factor," he said.

In the other semifinal earlier tonight, the Dominican Republic advanced to the final following a straight-set (25-21, 25-21, 27-25) victory over the United States.

China will play against the Dominican Republic Saturday in the final to vie for the gold medal in the first FIVB Women's U23 World Championship. United States and Japan will meet for the bronze medal in the previous match.

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