China downs US at volleyball worlds

Updated: 2006-11-09 08:33

Olympic champion China was too strong for the United States, defeating the Americans 20-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-17 on Wednesday in the second round of the women's world volleyball championships.

China's Zhang Na,front,attacks during their match against United States at the FIVB women's volleyball world championships in Sapporo,Japan November,8,2006.China win over US 3-1.[Xinhua]

The top-ranked Chinese rediscovered their form after losing the first set to give both teams a 2-2 record.

First-round results between teams competing in the second phase count in the latest standings.

Captain Feng Kun was pleased China was able to recover from losses to Russia and Germany in the first round.

"We had a little tension but I think we played well today," Feng said. "We recovered our team spirit and played very well so it was really good for us."

Wang Yimei led the scoring with 23 points for China, while Americas Nancy Metcalf fired in 20. America's Chinese coach Ping Lang said her compatriots were just too good.

"China had good rhythm and good offense and we didn't have much of a chance," said Lang.

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Elsewhere, tournament favorite Brazil cruised past Azerbaijan 25-19, 25-21, 25-23 to keep its unbeaten record intact, with Jaqueline Carvalho scoring 17 points.

The Brazilians, who won their third straight World Grand Prix title in September, sit at the top of the Osaka group ahead of Russia, which also is undefeated.

"In the first and second sets it was pretty good but in the third set we lost a little bit of concentration and the harmony of the team wasn't working well," Brazil coach Jose Guimaraes said.

Russia, the Olympic and World Grand Prix silver medalist, beat Puerto Rico 25-16, 25-10, 25-20.

The top two teams from each of the two groups advance to the championship semifinals.

The Netherlands needed five sets to overcome Germany, winning 23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 16-14 to move both teams to 2-2.

In Pool E, defending champion Italy easily beat Poland 25-19, 25-22, 25-13 to improve its record to 3-1 and now sits second in the group.

"I'm really happy because we restarted the second round like we finished the first round: winning," said coach Massimo Barbolini, who took over the fourth-ranked Italians in September.

Group E leader Serbia-Montenegro, ranked 30th in the world, continued its excellent run with a 25-23, 25-19, 25-22 victory over South Korea to stay perfect, while the Koreans dropped to 0-4.

World No. 5 Cuba, a disappointing fifth at the 2002 world championships, beat host Japan 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 to move both teams to 2-2. Taiwan' s unbeaten streak came to an end against Turkey, with the Europeans prevailing 25-17, 25-16, 21-25, 25-17 to improve to 1-3 and dropping the Asians to 3-1.

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