Tue, 26 Sep 2023

NAGOYA, Japan, June 3 (Xinhua) -- China fought off a hard challenge from the Netherlands to win their third successive FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League match here on Saturday.

China beat the European side 3-1 (27-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-20) to improve to eight points, behind leaders Poland and second-placed Japan on point ratios.

They will meet Japan in their last match on Sunday before the eight Pool 2 teams move to Hong Kong for the second phase of competition.

Japan also maintain an unbeaten record after claiming a 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-19) victory over Bulgaria in a later game.

The Netherlands, who lost all their three previous games, had every effort from the start to attack but lacked a killer touch at crucial moments.

"Our players were obviously shocked at the start by the aggressive opponents," said China head coach Cai Bin. "We were forced to make too many errors. But in the end, we managed to weather the storm."

Li Yingying was on fire again for China, delivering a match-high 27 points, including four aces and three blocks. Wang Yuanyuan added 16 points, and Wang Yunlu scored 14.

Li, also China's top scorer in their first two matches against Brazil and Germany, showed her confidence in China's perfect winning record when they leave Nagoya.

"We know Japan is a good team, their defense is always very solid," she said. "But our offense is better. I believe we can beat Japan for sure."

In the first match on Saturday, Brazil beat the Dominican Republic 3-1 (27-25, 20-25, 25-21, 27-25).

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