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China suffers third straight loss in VNL

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-07 15:58
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RIMINI, Italy - China's women's volleyball team suffered its third straight loss after losing to Belgium 3-2 on Sunday here in the 2021 women's Volleyball Nations League.

Zhang Changning had a game-high 37 points, the fifth-best performance in VNL history, but couldn't rescue her side from defeat (25-17, 27-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-8).

Despite losing, the Olympic reigning champion had a significant advantage of 80 attacks, compared to Belgium's 55. However, China's poor blocking and serving proved costly, as well as the significantly higher error rate.

"It was a hard game, but we never gave up, we fought until the end. We struggled a bit in reception and our blocking could be better too," said Zhang.

With the League's preliminary round at the midpoint stage (seven rounds have been completed and eight remain), China only has three victories, leaving them in ninth place on the rankings with 10 points.

The United States and Turkey are the only unbeaten teams, with 21 points and 19 points respectively. Third-placed Brazil has six wins and 18 points. The Netherlands occupies the fourth spot with five victories and 16 points.

Japan was among the top four during the preliminary round's first two weeks but dropped to fifth after a 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands on Sunday.

Russia, Belgium, and the Dominican Republic are all ahead of China in the rankings.

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