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Volleyball: China show fighting spirit to reach semis of Girls’ U18 Worlds



August 2, 2013: China (pictured in white) fought back from two games down to beat Dominican Republic 3-2 (22-25, 20-25, 25-11, 25-22, 15-6) and reach the semi-finals of the FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. China will face Peru, who beat Serbia 3-2 in their quarter-final.


Japan, the reigning Asian Youth champions, were earlier knocked out after losing three hard-fought games against Brazil (25-23, 25-22, 25-22). Brazil will compete in Saturday’s semis against the USA, 3-0 winners over Poland.


FIVB Girls U18 World Championship, Dominican Republic vs. ChinaChina reached the semi-finals for the second U18 Worlds in succession by outlasting their eighth-ranked opponents in a blistering 106-minute contest at Chatchai Hall.


Yuan Xinyue, China’s top attacker and the competition’s second-tallest player at 1.99 metres, led the way with 22 points and five blocks, rising to the occasion on crucial points, especially in the nail-biting fourth game.


The 2.00-metre Elizabeth Martinez, who scored 27 points, led the Dominican Republic charge in the first two games, but China romped to a 25-11 win in the third game to turn the match around.


“We played very well,” China coach Dong Ruijun said. “Everybody in our team came up with a good performance in this match and we accomplished our goal. We’ll now work step by step to try to reach the final.”


China captain Sun Haiping added: “I am very happy because we played to our level and showed good skills.”


FIVB Girls U18 World Championship, Japan vs. BrazilJapan (pictured on right, in red) were earlier undone by Brazil’s strong blocking performance, although captain Miku Benoki impressed as the team’s top scorer with 14 points.


“Today we played with spirit and all our players did a good job,” said Japan coach Ichiro Hanzawa. “We were a little bit nervous at the beginning and unfortunately we made a lot unforced errors, which is why we lost.”


Japan libero Minori Wada added: “We’re very sad. I think our team didn’t play well. We committed a lot mistakes, although we were rather exhausted after playing in the pool matches. However, congratulations to Brazil.”


In the 9th-16th classification matches, Chinese Taipei beat Puerto Rico 3-2 in a nailbiting contest. Chinese Taipei sacrificed a two-game lead but came good again in the fifth to win 25-20, 28-26, 21-25, 18-25, 15-8, so will compete in the 9th-12th playoffs.


Hosts Thailand lost 3-0 to Turkey (25-21, 25-15, 25-10) and will compete for the 13th-16th places.


Photos: FIVB.

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