Yuan Xinyue leads China's block party to take fifth place


China's net defence was at its best, as Yuan Xinyue (centre) led with six blocks to beat Thailand in the 2016 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals

Bangkok, Thailand, July 10, 2016 – China overcame Thailand’s strong challenge in the first two sets and come up with a straight-set (25-23, 25-23, 25-12) win to claim fifth place in the 2016 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals at Indoor Stadium Huamark on Sunday.

Yuan Xinyue led China with 13 points, including seven spikes and six blocks, while Malika Kanthong scored a team-high 13 points for Thailand. China had an overwhelming net defence as they deflected 18 shots of Thailand.

The first set proved to be an exciting opening act as both teams traded points. Onuma Sittirak and Malika Kanthong kept their rivals China on its feet as they led the host nation on offence. Yuan Xinyue utilised her height advantage to attack over the Thai block and break the tough Thai defence. China emerged on top of the hard-fought first set 25-23.

The second set started on similar fashion as the hosts tried to cut down the Chinese lead at 15-12. Wilavan Apinyapong led that comeback to level at 15-all. Thailand contained the Chinese rampage but suffered a setback towards the end of the set, with Liu Xiaotong placing China at set point 24-21. Thailand saved two set points before a serve from Pornpun Guedpard’s serve went out that gave China the 2-0 set-advantage at 25-23.

China continued on their attack onslaught and mounted a solid wall at the net that made Thailand struggle in the third set. China established a big margin at 16-9 and never looked back, as they only limited Thailand to score three more points before they took set and match 25-12.


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