|China keep semifinal hopes alive with straight sets win over Peru |
Two time champions and world No. 3 China, who move to a 3:4 win:loss record in the second round, must now wait on the results of Serbia(3:3) v Korea(3:3) and Poland (2:4) v Turkey (3:3) to await their fate. Depending on certain results, point ratio can determine whether they play in the semifinals for the 5-8 positions, 9-12 positions or head home early.
The top two teams in the two second round pools head to the semifinals for positions 1-4, teams in third and fourth will participate in semifinals 5-8, fifth and sixth in semifinals 9-12 while the seventh and eighth teams will exit the tournament.
China’s leading scorer in the tournament Wang Yimei was joined by Ma Yunwen in top scoring in the match with 15 points while Peru captain marked her final match in the Peruvian shirt with 13 points.
Although Peru took an early lead at the start of the match, China soon took control and marched to their 11th win in 12 matches against their South American opponents ranked 17th in the world.
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Peru took a 5-3 lead until China leveled at 5-5 on Wang’s monstrous spike. China’s superior firepower gave them a 13-9 lead, as their spikes deflected out off Peruvian fingers. Peru found a weakness in China’s coverage, targeting the wounded Wang, who couldn’t lunge for saves. After a close call made it 14-11, China took command by notching nine of the next 11 points. Even a clever put down by Chihuan couldn’t stem the tide, and China cruised to a 25-17 win behind Wang’s hits and a nifty sideswipe by Xue Ming.
In the second set, Peru again saw an early lead evaporate, as China garnered three points in a row to go up 8-5. Karla Ortiz made a diving one-hand bump to keep a rally going, but China nailed it right back at her to go up 9-6. Peru rebounded to lead 14-12 on Carla Rueda’s spike, but couldn’t convert on Vanessa Palacios’s head-first diving save. China regained momentum, as Ma’s block gave them a 16-14 advantage. Zhou Suhong’s ace prompted a Peru time-out at 19-14 before Chihuan’s spike spurred a Peru comeback to 19-18 and Jessenia Uceda’s spike tied it, as a smattering of Peru fans chanted “bueno, bueno”. However, Wang soon restored order by hammering a hit off Uceda for a 21-20 lead before Chihuan’s wide spike compounded a run of unforced errors by Peru to give China the set 25-22.
Peru fought hard early in the third set to go up 8-7. After teams traded winners, two spikes in a row by Ore Yulissa Zamudio moved Peru within one at 14-13. But China’s great wall of Wang, Ma and Xue continued to thwart Peru’s attack and pummel spikes off Peruvian hands and limbs as China surged ahead 17-13. Peru rallied to within one at 19-18, but Wang’s missile bounced off two players, and Zhou’s sideline spike gave China a 21-19 edge. China gave away two points on Xue’s missed serve and a foul at the net, to even the set at 21-all. In the end, Peru couldn’t match China’s power and Zhou’s ace completed a run of four straight points for China and the set 25-21.
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse