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Yuan leads youthful Chinese lineup to victory over Belgium

 

Ningbo, China, May 16, 2018 - Xinyue Yuan produced a sublime all-round display to lead a younger, less experienced Chinese team to a comprehensive 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-13) victory over Belgium on the second day of the inaugural women's FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Wednesday. 


With the world's number one ranked team opting to rest several senior players, including the captain Zhu Ting, Yuan joined her teenage teammate Yingying Li in a potent demonstration of the incredible depth of talent in the Chinese squad.

Yuan, 21, finished with 13 points, including eight of nine winning spikes, while Li chipped in with nine points,from eight kills a single block, and Fangxu Yang racked up seven offensive points before being substituted for the third set.

Opposite spiker Kaja Grobelna led Belgium with 13 points while the energetic Britt Herbots tallied six and Laure Flament five as the Europeans found the Olympic champions too tough after starting the tournament with a 3-0 win over Korea.

China, the early favourites to win the new competition, collected maximum points for the second match in a row after beating Dominican Republic 3-0 on Tuesday and show no sign of letting up with the next wave of players pushing for selection.

With so many potent shotmakers in the squad, China was able to go on a series of high-scoring runs, racking up the points against a committed and skilful Belgian team that ultimately had no answers to the power of the host-nation.

With the crowd at the Beilun Sport and Art Centre still buzzing after Korea's thrilling 3-2 win over Dominican Republic in the earlier pool game, China's players showed off their full repertoire of skills both in attack and defence and it was breathtaking at times.

A block from 20-year-old blocker Yuanyuan Wang saw China race out to a 15-5 lead before a kill from middle blocker Yuan stretched the advantage to 18-7.

The Yellow Tigers managed to save three set points but a clinical dump from substitute wing spiker Yanhan Liu clinched the set for China.

With Grobelna and Herbots finding their rhythm, Belgium kept in closer touch with China in the second set but came up just short and China's heavy hitters then ran away with the third to win in straight sets.

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