Sun, 25 Jul 2021

RIMINI, Italy, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Turkey and Japan marched towards the women's Volleyball Nations League (VNL) semifinals after sweeping South Korea and Germany 3-1 here on Saturday.

Although there is still one round left in the women's round-robin preliminaries, Turkey and Japan, who have recorded 11 wins and 30 points respectively, have already secured their positions in the final four.

"We are very proud. It was an important victory for us. Now we will play in the final four, but the round-robin is not over yet, as we have one more game together against Brazil," said Cansu Ozbay of Turkey after the match.

China beat Poland in three straight sets 26-24, 25-22 and 25-16 to claim its sixth victory in a row, improving its win-loss record to 9-5.

China produced a total of 57 attacks in Saturday's game against Poland's 47. Zhang Changning scored a game-high 21 points, while Li Yingying and Yuan Xinyue combined for 30 points. Poland's best scorer was Martyna Lukasik with 17 points.

"China is a great team. They have lots of experienced and great players. We could have dug more balls - I think this element was difficult for us to dig their spikes," said Lukasik. "I'm happy that we could play against them. They showed us some good volleyball, so we need to watch the video from this match, analyze it and learn from this game."

Zhang Changning attributed China's victory to strong teamwork. "Our performance was very good. We supported each other as a team and all my teammates put their hearts into this match and thus we managed to win. Our attack was key to this victory, we are getting better and better in this element," she said.

With one round left, the United States, Brazil, Turkey and Japan have sealed their spots in the semifinals. China currently ranks in fifth place.

Also on Saturday, the Dominican Republic beat Serbia 3-0, Brazil saw off the Netherlands 3-0, Thailand defeated Canada 3-0, the United States swept Russia 3-1, and Belgium edged Italy 3-2.

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