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Tianjin retains Chinese volleyball women league title
Guangzhou, China,, 2011 - Defending champions Tianjin beat Guangdong Hengda 2-1 in the best-of-three series finals to win the 2010-2011 Chinese Volleyball Association (CVA) women's league in Guangzhou on Sunday, clinching their eighth title in nine seasons.
With a 3-2 (12-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-20, 15-10) victory in the last match of the finals, Tianjin improved its win-loss record to 2-1 to claim the title. The Hengda team, who were promoted to Division A only this season, finished second.
In the first match held in Tianjin, the host team brushed aside the visiting Hengda in straight sets (25-9, 25-20, 25-15). After losing the first match, Hengda hosted the second leg at home, beating their rivals 3-2 in the second match, and forcing the finals into the decisive third match.
In the deciding third match on Sunday, Hengda started strongly and took the first two sets easily. However, Tianjin rallied back strongly in the third set to move within one set of their rivals.
The fourth set was almost a repeat of the third, only the fight became fiercer as Tianjin were ruthless in taking the early lead. Hengda strived to catch up at 17-20, but only saw Tianjin answered with a 3-0 run and finished the set, forcing the match into the tiebreaker.
Both teams tied at 8-8 in the deciding fifth before Tianjin launched a 7-2 run to clinch the match.
"The importance of the victory is that we survived from a very difficult situation, this is a very importance experience for our young players." commented Tianjin coach Liu Xiaoming.
Hengda coach Lang Ping praised the rival’s defense and blocking. She was very satisfied with her players, saying "We have done a good job, not only in this final, but also in all season. We have made progress and we did an excellent job in the first two sets today, but it is not good enough to realize our goal of a gold medal."
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Photo Credit: Dario Belingheri/Bettini Photo
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photo David Cannon/Getty images