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China beats Italy to book 1st win in Rio women's volleyball
   2016-08-08 23:56:42    Xinhua      Web Editor: Huang Shan

China wins Italy 3-0 in the women's volleyball group competitions at the Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 8, 2016. [Photo: Xinhua]

China booked an easy 3-0 win over Italy at the Rio Olympics women's volleyball group competitions on Monday.

Paola Ogechi Egonu scored a game-high 22 points, but was still not good enough for Italy, who lost to Serbia 3-0 in their opener. Zhu Ting and Xu Yunli led the Chinese team with 12 points each, Zhang Changning, another wing spiker of China, added 11 points. It took China only 74 minutes to claim its first victory of the tournament 25-21, 25-21 and 25-16.

Both teams had a slow start, but China took the lead at 5-1 thanks to a series of serving mistakes from Italy. Egonu came out with powerful spikes and helped Italy level the game at 13-all, but China again took control and won the set 25-21.

The following two sets were much easier for the Chinese team who claimed the World Cup crown in 2015. With four aces in the second set, China rushed ahead to take the game with 25-21 and 25-16.

"We didn't play well in the first set, actually we didn't play well in the first set against the Netherlands neither," said Lang Ping, the head coach of China, "The Chinese team is a young team, those young players could not get used to the competitions as soon as the experienced player did. "

China will face Puerto Rico in the next game, Lang said China is getting on a winning track but it won't be easy against Puerto Rico, who came to play in the Olympics for the first time.

"I have said many times, and I want to mention it again, China is a young team. We had big ups and downs during the game, so we have to focus on every game, on every team. Puerto Rico is a fast team, they are also good at defense. It won't be an easy game for China."

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