Published: 15:09, October 1, 2022 | Updated: 15:09, October 1, 2022
China beats Czech Republic to stay unbeaten at FIVB worlds
By Xinhua

Li Yingying (left) and Wang Mengjie of China celebrate after winning the Phase 1 Pool D match against the Czech Republic at the 2022 FIVB Women's World Championship in Arnhem, the Netherlands, Sept 30, 2022. (MENG DINGBO / XINHUA)

ARNHEM, the Netherlands – The Chinese women's volleyball team claimed their fourth victory in as many games at the FIVB World Championship on Friday, defeating the Czech Republic 25-19, 25-22, 27-25 to stay on top of the pool.

Chinese outside hitter Li Yingying had a game-high 22 points, including nine from the third set and a winning point to wrap up their fourth straight-set victory for the two-time world champions

Chinese outside hitter Li Yingying had a game-high 22 points, including nine from the third set and a winning point to wrap up their fourth straight-set victory for the two-time world champions.

"I made some errors in the second set, like three in a row, I have to learn from today," said the 22-year-old spiker. "It was our first match against a European team here. They are powerful, and their defense was very effective in the second set."

Captain Yuan Xinyue was another key player in the win, as she led China to hold off a strong fightback from their Czech opponents in the second set, during which she swept nine points for a total of 17.

The two sides exchanged the leads several times before tying at 22-22 in the second, after which Li and middle blocker Yuan scored two points to lift China to the set point, which was converted by setter Diao Linyu.

"The Czech players raised their defense in the second set, and we didn't deal with it well in the first half. But we were patient enough on the court to figure out how to cope with it," said the Rio Olympic champion Yuan. "As the captain, I told myself that I should take responsibility when the team was in trouble, and that's what I did today."

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China will play South American powerhouse Brazil in the last pool match on Saturday, while the Czech Republic takes on Colombia. Japan will face Argentina on Sunday

Czech opposite Gabriela Orvosova scored a team-high 20 points, including 18 from attacks. The world No. 22 team now ranks fifth in the pool, winless in four matches but winning a set from Brazil, which enabled them to sit ahead of bottom team Colombia and keep their hopes for a spot in the next phase.

China will play South American powerhouse Brazil in the last pool match on Saturday, while the Czech Republic takes on Colombia. Japan will face Argentina on Sunday.

World No. 7 Japan bounced back from their loss to China to upset world No. 2 Brazil 25-22, 25-19, 17-25, 25-20 in the other pool D match on Friday. It was only the 15th time Japan was able to defeat the South Americans in their 76 encounters at major world-level competitions.

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Japan's outside hitter Arisa Inoue, who captained the team in the absence of injured Sarina Koga, delivered a match-high 27 points, including three blocks and an ace. Her cross-court teammate Mayu Ishikawa added 18 points, including two aces. Kotona Hayashi spiked at a success rate of 52% and scored twice from serves to tally 16 points, one short of Brazil's most prolific player, outside hitter Priscila Daroit.