China beats Japan 28-26, 25 --29 to take sole lead in Women's Volleyball World Championship

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China beats Japan 28-26, 25 --29 to take sole lead in Women's Volleyball World Championship

China's Li Yingying No 12 spikes against team Japan at the FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship in Arnhem, Netherlands on Wednesday. PHOTO XINHUA ARNHEM, the Netherlands -- China claimed its third consecutive win at the FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship on Wednesday, beating Japan 28 -- 26, 25 -- 17, 29 -- 27 to take a sole lead in the pool.

Rio Olympic champions came back from 23 -- 20 down and converting their second match point in the third set to wrap up the tough victory, overcame strong fightbacks from their opponents in the third set.

We prepared well for this match. The Chinese head coach Cai Bin said that our players carried out the tactics as planned and showed a strong desire for a victory on the court.

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Japan won its last meeting with China at the Nations League in June when it came from one set down to secure a 19 -- 25, 25 -- 16, 25 -- 23, 25 -- 12 victory.

Both teams went into the toe-to-toe clash with two straight-set victories this time, as the first set turned out to be a thrilling one as expected. The two sides were tied from 19 - 19 to 26 -- 26, where China missed three set points.

Chinese outside hitter Wang Yunlu, a debutant at the World Championships, produced one of their best performances in the national team by adding two consecutive points, one for spike and another for block, to win the first-set victory for the team.

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They are a very good team with a great deal of resilience. As for the set point in the first set, I told myself that I should dare attack as an outside hitter. That's what I did, and I feel that I'm getting used to the big stage better and better," said the 26-year-old spiker, who had 11 points with 10 from the first two sets.

Cai said that Wang Yunlu is making big progress, especially after the Nations League.

Outside hitter Li Yingying had a team-high 19 points while four other Chinese players hit double-digits. He played a big role in defense, contributing five blocks to her 13 points.

The second was dominated by the Chinese team, as they only needed 20 minutes to go up to a 25 -- 17 win, as they were not as close as the first and third sets.

Players from China celebrate scoring during the Phase 1 Pool D match between China and Japan at the 2022 Volleyball Women's World Championship in Arnhem, Netherlands, Sept 28, 2022. MENG DINGBO XINHUA The second set was in our rhythm, we did well in blocks and won some key points in defense, Cai said.

World No 7 Japan could have earned them a chance for the fourth set, but squandered three set points. Another blow for them was that their captain and outside hitter Sarina Koga limped off the court, seeming to have injured her ankle.

In the other pool match, Brazil defeated the South American team Colombia 25 -- 14, 25 -- 12, 25 -- 20.

On Friday, China will face the Czech Republic, while Japan will take on Brazil.

These three games are just the beginning. There are many more tough battles ahead. We have to play game by game, set by set, point by point, but now I feel that our team is getting better and better, said Cai.