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China secure last semifinal berth of VNL with a 3-1 win over Italy
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China secure last semifinal berth of VNL with a 3-1 win over Italy

Agency News

Nanjing, Jul 5 : China recovered from first-day loss to beat Italy in four sets on Friday and entered the semifinals of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL).

The host team lost to Turkey in their opening match of the tournament, but they soon recovered and defeated Italy 25-17, 25-22, 22-25 and 25-22.

"We focused on the defense and counterattack during yesterday's training and it made the difference in the game," said An Jiajie, coach of China, "Our players did well on defense and we could get points in a back-and-forth situation."

Liu Xiaotong and Liu Yanhan scored 18 points apiece, then Gong Xiangyu and Zheng Yixin added 11 points each to overwhelm their rivals. Paola Egonu topped all scorers with 38 points then Elena Pietrini contributed 14 points in the loss.

It was the fourth entry for the 20-year-old opposite Egonu in the list of players to have scored 30 points or more in a single VNL match following 40 points.

Earlier on Friday, the United States defeated Brazil 25-18, 25-19, 20-25 and 25-21 to win Pool B. With the victory, the Americans will take on China while Brazil plays Pool A winner Turkey in the semifinals on Saturday. (UNI-XINHUA)