China trounce Japan to advance to final for Asiad women's volleyball

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China hammered Japan in straight sets 25-22, 25-10 and 25-20 to advance to the final at the Asiad women's volleyball competition in Jakarta on Friday.

The victory was not an easy one, especially in the first set, in which Japan took the lead for most of the time while China struggled to catch up, until a string of five straight points at the end of the set helped China turn the tide to win 25-22.

"Our opponents played with a special style, and were very good in defense. We were having difficulties in attacks at first," said China coach Lang Ping after the match.

"We were prepared for such difficulties and even for losing the first set. But after some adjustment, our passing improved, and we launched fast attacks, which gave the opponents trouble in defense," said Lang.

The second set saw China back in good form, and five straight points with Yuan Xinyue as server put China in lead 6-1. Fast spikes of Japan's Yuki Ishii pulled back a few points, but China, with strong spikes and solid blocking, managed to keep the dominance to end the set 25-10.

In the third set, Japan came back to lead initially but China soon leveled the score and led 13-8. After that, two ineffective replacements on China's part gave Japan the opportunities to get even 16-16. But the Olympic champions managed to come back and Zhu Ting's final spike sealed the victory for China 25-20.

"In general, we did a good job in blocking today. But the opponents shocked us in serving. Especially in the third set, we were not patient enough and made a few mistakes," said Lang after the match.

China's star spiker Zhu Ting top scored with 18 points, followed by young spiker Li Yingying with 13 points. Li said after the match that she tried to use her advantage in attacking to break through the defense of the opponents.

"I'm very confident about my attacking power. I trust that this is my advantage and strong point. In the game, I just kept believing in myself and did what I should do," said 18-year-old Li.

China's blocker Yuan Xinyue also scored in double figures. Japan have two players who scored double digits.

In another semifinal game on Friday, Thailand beat South Korea 3-1.

On Saturday, China and Thailand will compete for the gold medal of the Asiad women's volleyball, while South Korea and Japan will fight for the bronze. 

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