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26 September 2022, 09:25

China opens women's volleyball worlds with straight-set win over Argentina

ARNHEM, 26 September (BelTA - Xinhua). - China started the FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship with a comfortable 25-23, 25-22, 25-20 victory over Argentina in one hour and 27 minutes here on Sunday.

Despite the absence of star outside hitters Zhu Ting and Zhang Changning, the 2016 Olympic gold medalists dominated their opening group match, as 22-year-old spiker Li Yingying scored a game-high 22 points, including 19 from attacks and two from blocks. Wang Yunlu added 11 and captain Yuan Xinyue had eight.

"We went into the match with a good mentality. As it was our first game here, we need some time to get used to the tournament," said Li after the win.

"We're aiming for a medal, even the gold. But we should play our games one by one. I need more matches to improve and learn from the best players in the world," she added.

Two-time champion China last won the tournament's title in 1986 and made the final in 2014 in Italy before losing to the United States 3-1 in the showdown.

Opposite Erika Mercado led the charge for Argentina with 15 points, and outside hitter, Daniela Bulaich Simian added 13.

China did better in defense, leading 9-3 in blocks, especially in the second set when the world No. 4 side pocketed six points from blocks with Yuan contributing three.

Next for China will be another South American team Colombia on Tuesday, and Argentina will take on Brazil on Monday.

In the other Pool D match of the day, world No. 7 Japan eased past 16th-ranked Colombia 25-20, 25-22, 25-17.

The 27-year-old Japanese outside hitter Arisa Inoue scored a game-high 21 points, with Sarina Koga adding 16 and Kotona Hayashi having 14.

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