|Lang Ping, the former coach of the USA coach was now leading her home country China to their first world final in 16 years, while the Americans were searching their first ever world title. [Xinhua/Ma Ruzhuang]|
China was facing the USA in the final of the Women's Volleyball World Championship. Lang Ping, the former coach of the USA coach was now leading her home country China to their first world final in 16 years, while the Americans were searching their first ever world title.
China beat hosts Italy in the semi-finals. Veteran Xu Yunli was sidelined due to injury with 18-year-old Yuan Xinyue standing in.
China took control in early in the opening set. Yuan keeps her stunning form going. Her block gives China a 6-2 lead.
But the USA, who topped Olympic champions Brazil in the semis, would come back and take the set 27-25.
The Americans rode the momentum and started sharply in the second, but China battled back to tie it at 12.
Team USA pulled away again and went on to win it 25-20. and held a two set advantage.
China did not give in and did not want to be swept in the final. Lang Ping who took China to the World Championship final in 1998 would see her team jump to an 11-8 lead midway through the set.
The United States called a time-out, in a bid to stop their opponents momentum. But the Chinese were all fired up and went on to take the set 25-16. They remained alive in the final and trailed two sets to one.
The score was tied at 19 in the fourth but China would go ahead as the ball went off the Americans.
Zeng Chunlei scored a team-high 20 points and pushed China ahead 23-20.
But the team ran out of gas in the last few points of the set. It was the USA who fought back and took the frame 26-24. The Americans wrapped up the win in four sets. China falling short of their goal. Brazil beat Italy for the third place of the tournament.
"It is a disappointing day. We lost because of our fitness and we were not used to the style of the Americans who played fast and flexible. We didn't control the match well once our fitness fell short. But I think it was a good experience for our team," Lang said.
Please understand that womenofchina.cn,a non-profit, information-communication website, cannot reach every writer before using articles and images. For copyright issues, please contact us by emailing: email@example.com. The articles published and opinions expressed on this website represent the opinions of writers and are not necessarily shared by womenofchina.cn.