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2 July 2014
Bursa, Turkey, June 29, 2014- Having suffered a narrow defeat at the start of their FIVB World League Group 3 finals' campaign, world No.18 China rebounded with impressive 3-1 (21-15, 39-37, 25-23, 25-19) win against world No.36 Slovakia at Bursa Cengiz Gollu Volleyball Hall on Sunday.
This the second win for China against their opponents in 3 matches between them in history to finish the unique finals in the third position leaving Slovakia in the fourth.
China lost their semifinal match against Cuba on Saturday after a thrilling five setter, like Slovakia who lost against the hosts in straight sets in their corresponding semifinal.
Captain Zhong Weijun’s 25 points topped the list of the scores for the winners, followed by opposite attacker Kou Zhichao 19. Ouitside hitter Matej Patak contributed 21 points for the losers as best scorer from their side followed by opposite Lubos Kostolani 17.
With this win China collected their 50th World League win to become the 16th nation with 50 victories in the history of FIVB prestigious competition. China also finished this season’s World League on six wins, most since 2008 (6).
Slovakia started the match with the same line up they palyed with against Turkey in the semifinal, while China replaced 3 from the starting lineup that narrowly lost against Cuba in the other semis including the best performing scorer Yuan Zhi. Slovakia put an early pressure through the service and emerged with their attacks through the opposite Lubos Kostolani beside the quick attacks from Emanuel Kohut. China came back with their proper backline defence and better reception till they draw 16-16. Chna coach replaced the setter but Slovakia had the upper hand on the court to win the set 25-21.
Slovakia started the second set with the same momentum and deployed their block against the Chinese attacks to lead 8- 6 at the first TTO. the Chinese team did frequent reception and digging mistakes to lose again points increasing the point deficit to the Slovakian side 11-6. China came back with the spikes of Kou Zhichao from position 2 as well as the captain Zhong Weijun to draw for the first time in the set 22-22 and had a subsequent lead 24-23 with a spike from Zhichao. China lost 3 successive set points with reception and service mistakes before both teams alternate leading till China led by the extra ordinary performance of Zhichao won the longest set in the competition 39-37.
Again the third set went very competitive as both teams alternate leading and using the opponent mistakes till 9-9 when Slovakia put the pressure through the spike service to lead 16-14 at the second TTO. Slovakia started to use the quick attacks through their experienced center Kohut to come back from behind till they led 22-21. China won like the second set the crucial points to win the set 25-23,
China started the fourth set with higher motivation and succeeded to control the net action through the proper blocking against the Slovakian quick attacks and thus they were ahead 8-3 at the first TTO. China widely led the court thereafter to win the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.
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