Lang Ping says blocking was key in 3-1 win against Netherlands


China captain Zhu Ting playing defence at the net

Osaka, Japan, September 27, 2019 – China took its perfect 8-0 record into Friday's match against an energised Netherlands team at Maruzen Intec Arena Osaka, where the Asian side continued its dominant play, though not without difficulties, winning 3-1 (25-19, 25-16, 21-25, 25-19).

China coach Lang Ping: "The Netherlands is one of strongest teams in Europe, and we prepared for them a lot, but even so, they were difficult. In the first and second set, we played well, but in the third set we weren't as good and we didn't attack well. But I think there was flow nonetheless and we got our rhythm back in the fourth."

On what aspects were especially good today against the Netherlands: "Today I think our blocking was particularly strong. However in our attacking there were a few fluctuations."

China captain Zhu Ting: "I am very happy to win today, yet we still have to make more and more effort and work hard."

China player Ding Xia: "I am happy we could win this match. We had some shortcomings here and there, but we have two more matches and we hope to make some corrections today."

On her scoring despite being a setter: "I'm left-handed so it's partly because of that, however today a few times I was caught by their blocking. One of the intentions was to distract by joining the attack."

Netherlands coach Jamie Morrison: "In the first two sets we started off playing good volleyball, and then we got stuck in one rotation. I was happy with the third set and the way that we were able to rebound. I thought we played good volleyball up until about 20 points in the fourth. I'm proud of my team. I thought we were fighting the entire time regardless of the score. We were running, sprinting for every single ball. We look forward to our next match against the Dominican Republic."

On substituting his setter early on: "We have two really good setters on our team. We were struggling to side-out, and we decided to go with another quality setter and she was setting very, very well. So I left her in the match, she brought good energy, I thought she was making good choices - she was locating well, she played a great match."

On playing China last year in the World Championship's third place match: This tournament prepares us for what's coming. We're going to play an Olympic qualification tournament in January. That's going to be against some very good volleyball teams. I think Europe is one of the best confederations in the world, so our qualifiers are going to be tougher than most others. So we're using these matches against difficult teams like China as preparation for what's coming."

Maret Balkestein-Grothues of the Netherlands celebrates a point

Netherlands captain Maret Balkestein-Grothues: "First of all congratulations to China. In the first two sets we didn't play up to the level that we can play. In the third set we recovered, with more service pressure, but we couldn't continue it in the fourth set. It was good to have a chance to play a good team like this, and we can can learn a lot if we keep in mind how we can play like this. We have to continue to play like this."

Netherlands player Lonneke Slöetjes: I think today was a pretty good match for us. We knew China were a very stable team, they are playing well this tournament. We tried to prepare as well as we could. Unfortunately in the first two sets we couldn't side-out from our side, so I was a little disappointed. But I'm so happy that at least in the third set we could bring our game up. Unfortunately we couldn't keep that level, but I'm happy with the third set, and the way we fought for every point."