Yuan Xinyue (top) of China spikes during the women's Pool B match between China and the Czech Republic at the 2019 FIVB Tokyo Volleyball Qualification in Ningbo, east China's Zhejiang Province, Aug. 2, 2019. [Xinhua/Li Jundong]
China women's volleyball team won their first match in the FIVB Volleyball Olympic Qualification Pool B here on Friday, beating the Czech Republic 25-18, 25-23, 25-19.
The reigning Olympic champions have appeared at the last nine editions of the Olympic Games, while the Czech Republic have competed in the only Olympics twice, finishing sixth and seventh competing as Czechoslovakia in 1968 and 1972 respectively.
China showed good form and took the first set with relative ease. The second set became tense as the Czechs narrowed the gap to 22-23, but the hosts rallied to win the set with two points from middle blocker Yuan Xinyue.
The away side established a 8-4 lead in the third set, though China gradually took back control to lead 16-15 after a technical time-out. From there, the hosts rode the momentum and sealed the win.
Spiker Zhu led China's scoring with 12 points, while Andrea Kossanyiova from the Czech side claimed a game-high haul of 17.
The tournament sees 24 teams divided into six pools of four, with each pool's top team securing their ticket to Tokyo 2020.
China's next match is against Germany on Saturday.
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