US lead title race at women’s volleyball World Cup

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Okayama (Japan), Sep 2 (IANS) Reigning world champions United States eased past Cuba 3-0 (25-15, 25-11, 25-15) to lead the title contention at the 2015 FIVB Women’s World Cup here.

With their seventh victory in eight matches, the American women led the standings of the 12-team round robin tournament with 22 points at the end of the second round play in Okayama and Sendai, reports Xinhua.

Tetori Dixon had six kills, five blocks and two aces for the US to capture the Most Impressive Player award with Kimberly Hill, Jordan Larson-Burbach adding nine and eight respectively. The American women reaped 11 points from blocking, compared with only four for Cuba.

Four-time World Cup winners Cuba, who had beaten Algeria in straight sets on Monday, slipped to a 2-6 record before the start of the third round competitions in Nagoya and Komaki on Friday. Regla Rainierys Gracia Gonzalez led the scoring of Cuba with 12 points.

Earlier on Tuesday, ace spiker Zhu Ting came back from a three-match absence to score 15 to help China clinch their fifth straight win.

Having taken a three-match break because of a sprained foot, Zhu looked refreshed as she notched up 10 kills and three blocks as well as the Most Impressive Player award. With the 25-14, 25-15 and 25-20 victory, the Chinese women improved to a 7-1 win-loss record at the end of the second round play in Okayama.

“In upcoming matches, I want to give all my players a chance to show what they can do,” said China coach Jenny Lang Ping. “The most important thing is to keep the players in the best condition and stable. Whatever match it is, it’s all good experience for the players and they’ve had a good experience in Okayama.”

Yuan Xinyue had 14 points for China through nine kills, three blocks and two aces with Zhang Changning and Liu Xiaotong contributing 13 and 12 points respectively.

The Chinese women had a 10-2 advantage in blocking points and outserved the Argentines 8-3. Argentina slipped to a 3-5 win-loss record.

Later on Tuesday, Serbia outlasted Japan in full sets in Tokyo to share a 7-1 record with the United States, Russia and China.

The World Cup will have two rest days with the third round action to continue on Friday in Nagoya and Komaki. Top two finishers from the 12-team round robin tournament will qualify for next year’s Rio Olympics Games.

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