Brazil, USA off to winning start, China fall in Olympic women's volleyball

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/8/7 16:16:35

Two-time defending Olympic champions Brazil and reigning world champions USA got off to winning start on Saturday at the Rio Games women's volleyball competitions while China lost to the Netherlands in a five-set thriller.

The Brazilian women, who had claimed consecutive gold medals at the Beijing and London Games in 2008 and 2012, eased past Cameroon 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-13) in their opening pool A match in front of nearly 8,000 home fans.

Also in pool A, Russia swept Argentina 3-0 and South Korea defeated Japan in four sets.

The United States also collected an opening win as they powered past pool B opponents Puerto Rico 25-17, 25-22 and 25-17. Kelly Murphy and Kimberly Hill each contributed 14 points to the Americans' victory.

Reigning World Cup champions China lost to the Netherlands 3-2 in their first match in Rio.

Lonneke Sloetjes scored game-high 26 points to lead the Dutch women to the 25-23, 21-25, 18-25, 25-22 and 15-13 victory in two hours and 11 minutes. Robin de Krujif and Anne Buijs added 15 and 14 points respectively.

"We played with very good discipline, and everybody played very well today. It is an amazing start," said the Netherlands' Italian coach Giovanni Guidetti.

Despite the surprising loss, China head coach Jenny Lang Ping thought it was good learning experience for the young team.

"It's the first match of the Olympic Games and our young players were a little bit nervous. For such a young team like us, it's normal to have some ups and downs," said Lang Ping.

Zhu Ting led China with 24 points and 19-year-old Gong Xiangyu added 18, but some errors of the promising opposite spiker cost the Chinese women the victory.

"As an Olympic new comer, she played pretty well in the first four sets. In the fifth set, she made some unforced errors, but it's understandable. She is so young, she needs some more experience," Lang Ping said.

In the other pool B match, Serbia swept Italy 3-0.

Twelve teams are playing round robin preliminaries in two groups with top four finishers from each group to qualify for the quarterfinals.

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Posted in: Olympics, Eye on the ball

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