New batch of volleyballers keen to restore Chinese pride at the London Olympics.
China's women's volleyball is the most successful team sport in the country, although the youthful side has experienced some turbulence in recent years.
Gearing up for the London Olympic Games in July, the team has vowed to wow the world again.
"We want to be a dark horse in London," said Wei Qiuyue, captain of the Chinese women's team. "All of us are very excited (about London). As a setter, I hope I can stimulate all the players to perform at their best."
The women's team earned great glory for the country - especially in 1980s. Led by legendary spiker Lang Ping, who was dubbed the "Iron Hammer", China won the World Cup in 1981 and the World Championship in 1982, the Olympic gold in 1984 and the World Championship again in 1985. The "spirit of women's volleyball" inspired the country.
Lang was named the head coach of the Chinese team in 1995 and lifted a team which only finished seventh at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. She led the team to a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
At the 2004 Athens Olympics, the Chinese claimed their second Olympic title under the guidance of head coach Chen Zhonghe.
After the Athens Games, injuries hit several veterans and the side struggled to claim a bronze at its home Olympics in 2008.
Chen resigned as head coach after the Beijing Olympics and the squad went into a transitional phase with some veterans retiring and young players coming up.
Although it has struggled at major events in recent years, the side still draws great interest.
Under the guidance of current head coach, Yu Juemin, the team finished third at the World Cup last year and earned a ticket to the London Games.
A low-key Yu says the Chinese team is no longer at the top level on the world stage, but is gradually improving.
"The Chinese team gained much experience at last year's World Cup, but we are still not strong enough to be at the top level," Yu said. "There will be many strong teams at the London Games, but we won't give up. We will try to play each group match well and strive to reach the top four."
To inspire his young team, Yu took it to witness the raising of the national flag at the Tian'anmen Square last Thursday morning.
"We want the players to be more patriotic, which will help them to work harder in daily training," Yu said. "Out team has a splendid history, which has to be inherited and taken to new heights."