China celebrate their win against Italy at the 2019 VNL Finals
Nanjing, China, July 5, 2019 – Liu Xiaotong and Liu Yanhan teamed up to lead China’s four-set victory, while Jordan Thompson’s 33-point performance powered the United States’ triumph in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League Finals.
Xiaotong and Yanhan combined for 36 points to help China beat Italy 3-1 (25-17, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22) in Pool A and secure the semifinal berth. Although their combined outputs were no match for Italian star Paola Egonu’s 38 points, the Chinese side showed better teamwork.
Gong Xiangyu and Zheng Yixin helped out with 11 points apiece, while the Italians only had Egonu and Elena Pietrini scoring in double-digits.
China joined the United States, Turkey and Brazil in the final four for the second time at the VNL.
Meanwhile, the United States topped Pool B, following their 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 20-25, 25-21) victory over Brazil.
As these teams have already qualified to the semifinal round, both coaches rested their regular starters and utilised their younger players. Twenty-two-year-old Thompson joined the ‘Over 30s club’ after her 33-point breakthrough performance.
Thompson had help from the rest of USA’s starting unit as each players scored in the match, including double-digit outputs from Jordan Larson, Mikaela Foecke and Tetori Dixon. Brazil’s offence, meanwhile, were headed by Lorenne Geraldo Teixeira and Tainara Lemes Santos.
The semifinals will take place at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre on June 6, featuring the match between Turkey and Brazil at 15:00 local time and the matchup of defending champions USA and hosts China.
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