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The Chinese Hui spiking over Fresco and Sosa blocking

Hiroshima, Japan, November 9, 2011 - China went into Wednesday’s game against Argentina in third place in the World Cup standings, having posted three come-from behind wins already in the tournament. China looked inconsistent at times, but still proved far to strong for Argentina, winning 3-0 (25-10, 25-18, 25-23). Leading China was Wang Yimei with 16 points, and Ma Yunwen came through when it counted with 14. For Argentina, Paula Yamila Nizetich played with emotion to notch 12 in an losing effort.

In contrast to previous matches China decided to show up in this first set, with Hui doing it all for China early scoring on a block, and ace, and a blistering spike helping them up 12-3. Wang would post six in the set to help China on its way to an insurmountable 23-6 lead, and despite three forceful attacks from Nizetich late (including a beautiful ace and a drive that painted the baseline), China would close it on a spike from Zhang Lei 25-10.

Despite having dropped the first Argentina’s Nizetich was again strong to start the second, serving up another ace to help her side up 6-2. She played with fierce emotion, though at times it got the better of her, sailing a couple of attacks long, including one that let China ahead 14-9. China’s serving was terrible late, with a trio of errors letting Argentina come close, but they couldn’t overcome the deficit as Wang recovered nicely with an ace on set point to take it 25-18.

Busquets was attacking well at the net to start the third set, and she added an ace to put her side up three early. Her side was serving was great helping Argentina stay ahead 14-10. China managed to stay close, but in contrast continued to serve poorly as a Yang serve wide let Argentina up 21-18. But Ma took over late with a clutch performance throwing down three spikes to help them reach set point, and then an ace to squeak it out 25-23, taking the match.

Press Conference, China v Argentina : China took on a relatively inexperienced Argentina squad in Hiroshima on Wednesday. Coach Yu Juemin says that his team is getting better as the tournament rolls on.

China coach Yu Juemin : Frankly speaking, Argentina is not the strongest team, but looking at their previous matches I could tell we would have some difficulties. We studied their game, and I think we played well in the first two sets. But in the third set they served and blocked well, and we had trouble defending their attack. Fortunately we managed to come away with a a win.

On previous games so far: We have achieved our target so far, and we were especially focused against Italy and Japan. Regarding the hosts Japan, we felt a little pressure against them. But overall through the matches, all of our players have performed well. As a head coach, I’m quite happy with our results. Our offence is improving, but we need to step up our defence and our blocking.

On upcoming games: We play USA, Brazil, Germany, Serbia — all top teams, all strong. We lost games against them before, so of course it will be a difficult time. But in the first and second round, we’re getting better, and our players are getting more experience, getting more confident. We’ll do our best moving forward.

China player Yang Junjing : We fully prepared for this match, but in the third set we had a lot of errors, particularly in our blocking. Also we had reception problems too.

On previous ankle injury: It feels fine. I don’t think I played at my best, it wasn’t a well-balanced, consistent game. There’s room to improve my blocking as well.

China player Ma Yunwen : Both China and Japan are good teams, and I think we did well today. I think Argentina is very strong because they beat the Dominican Republic, so we expected some difficulties in this match. In the third set we didn’t receive well, but this should serve as a good lesson for us.

Of course most of the teams in the World Cup will be strong, however we adjust ourselves for each match and try to do our best.

Argentina coach Bastit Horacio : We expected we would have a tough match today. China has a strong attack and their defence is good. We expected long rallies, and we’ve been focusing on serving to score against China. However we didn’t put much pressure on them in the first or second set, but in the third we played with more control, and compared to the previous sets we were much better. Unfortunately we lost in the end, but it was a good experience for us to take on China.

Argentina captain Emilce Sosa : We played badly early in the first and second sets. We knew China was a good, strong team. But in the third we played better. We don’t have much experience against Asian teams, and against China and Japan in this tournament will be a very good experience for us to take away.

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