Tue, 20 Oct 2020

Lin Xinyu (C) of Liaoning team spikes during the Group B match against Henan at the 2020 Chinese Women's Volleyball Championship in Jiangmen, south China's Guangdong Province, Sept. 23, 2020. (Xinhua/Qin Lang)

Defending champions Tianjin kicked off the 2020 campaign with a 3-0 sweep over Hebei as the Chinese Women's Volleyball Championship started in Jiangmen, south China's Guangdong province.

JIANGMEN, China, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Tianjin brushed aside Hebei 3-0 (25-15, 25-12, 25-17) in the first round of the 2020 Chinese Women's Volleyball Championship here on Wednesday.

Tianjin dominated the match with strong attacks from Chinese national team players Li Yingying and Wang Yuanyuan, while Hebei hardly created a threat in the first set.

After both sides traded points at the beginning of the second set, Li scored a pair of spikes to initiate Tianjin's 9-1 run, which Hebei failed to cut it until the end of the set.

Although both Li and Wang were substituted in the third set, Tianjin's young players Wang Yizhu and Chen Boya combined for 10 points to sail to the victory.

"I was trying to find my rhythm and enhancing my cooperation with my teammates in today's match because I have long been out of formal games this year," said Tianjin captain Li.

"I'm satisfied with my performance today," Li added.

Wu Han (L) of Jiangsu celebrates during the Group A match against Yunnan. (Xinhua/Qin Lang)

Later on Wednesday, Jiangsu also defeated Yunnan 3-0 (25-8, 25-18, 25-20). However, their victory was not easy.

Yunnan seemed defenseless toward Jiangsu's four national members lined-up in the first set, but Jiangsu suddenly lost steam in the second, gifting Yunnan a 5-3 lead from two severing faults.

Although Zhang Changning helped Jiangsu retake advantage again, Yunnan still followed closely and even leveled the score at 13-13. Yuan Xinyue and Jiang Yuxiao then contributed the crucial four consecutive points to secure Jiangsu's lead.

Yuan looked as if she thought the game was over after the second set, but it was in the third set where Yunnan staged their strongest resistance.

Lei Yanxi was the key player to help Yunnan keep the lead until 15-13. However, Jiangsu's Wu Han donated the game-changing three points soon after she was sent on the court.

"Some of our players are newly coming back from national team training, it's normal for them to face some difficulties in cooperation with other teammates," said Jiangsu head coach Cai Bin.

Other matches on Wednesday saw Shandong smashed Sichuan 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-17), Fujian beat Beijing 3-1 (28-26, 28-26, 19-25, 25-10), Zhejiang edged Guangdong 3-2 (25-20, 25-13, 22-25, 22-25, 18-16), and Liaoning overcame Henan 3-2 (20-25, 24-26, 25-10, 25-11, 15-6). ■

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