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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 10:50, May 28, 2005
China to clash with Cuba for women's volleyball crown
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China clean swept Dominican Republic 25-18, 25-16, 25-17 at the Beilun Sports and Art Center Friday afternoon to set up a final clash with Cuba in the Shenzhou Cup China International Women's Volleyball Tournament.

"Cuba is a very strong team. We will try our best in the final, but I don't want to think too much about the result," said China head coach Chen Zhonghe.

Chen changed his line-up for the first time at the five-day tournament. With the 17-year-old Wang Yimei replacing Olympic gold medalist Yang Hao, half of the starting six were new faces that had not participated in the Athens Olympic Games.

The newly recruited young players did not let the coach down.

With Wang and Chu Jinling attacking from the sides and Ma Yunwen playing well in the middle, the Chinese women pulled away from an 8-7 deficit in the first set for a 12-8 lead and never looked back.

The Dominicans seemed to be exhausted coming off a five-set thrilling victory over Japan less than 18 hours ago. After frail resistance, they allowed the Chinese take the second and third sets easily at 25-16 and 25-17.

Wang had six kills, six blocks and two aces to lead China with 14 points.

"I am very glad that the coach gave me the chance to start," said Wang, who emerged as the leading scorer for the second time in China's four straight wins.

"I told myself to do my best before the match, I think today I did a good job," she added. "Although, I still need to improve my serving."

Chu Jinling scored 10 points and Ma Yunwen added nine for the unbeaten Chinese.

Cuba, who lost to China 3-2 in the semi-finals of the Athens Olympics, beat Bulgaria 23-25, 25-21, 25-21, 28-30 and 15-11 in the other semi-final to meet China in Saturday's final. Bulgaria and Dominican Republic will clash for the third place.

Source: Xinhua

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