Hong Kong, China, June 26, 2016 – USA cruised to three-set victory over China (25-19, 25-21, 25-17) to claim first place in Pool H of the FIVB World Grand Prix Group 1.
Both teams were finding their rhythm at the start of the first set. With the mighty hammerings by Karsta Lowe, the Americans were able to get 2 points ahead at the first technical time-out. China tried to come back by strengthening their attacks, and yet the team committed a couple of unforced service and reception errors. USA raced to a four-point lead at the second technical time-out, then performed consistently and dominated the set until the end, 25-19.
Team USA carried their momentum to the second set and were leading by three points thanks in a large part to several errors by China. Steady performance on offence brought USA to the first technical time-out at 8-5. China slowly caught up to a 10-all tie. The match went gradually in favour of USA which reached a 22-16 advantage with their spectacular spikes and tips. China attempted to fight back but the set was ended by two consecutive kills by Jordan Larson-Burbach at 25-21.
In the third set, the USA slowly controlled the play while China struggled with their defense. The American side won 8 out of the nine opening points in that set. China’s performance improved after captain Hui Ruoqi came on. However, this was not enough for them to reduce the margin and they were still 7 points behind at the second technical time-out. The Americans were visibly more confident and they dominated the net. China managed to score three points in a row at one point, but the deficit was too large and the USA won 25-17. The USA won Pool H in Hong Kong while China suffered their first defeat in the tournament.