Zhu Ting fires 33 to lead China to the Olympic final

 

China celebrate their 3-1 victory over the Netherlands to move to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games final

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 18, 2016 – Zhu Ting led China in its phenomenal 3-1 (27-25, 23-25, 29-27, 25-23) triumph over the Netherlands in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games women’s volleyball semifinals at Maracanazinho on Thursday.

China have previously been in the Olympics Games final three times. They have won gold twice at Los Angeles 1984 and Athens 2004, and bagged the silver at Atlanta 1996. They also got bronze medals at Seoul 1988 and Beijing 2008.

Rio 2016

Zhu recorded 33 points, including 31 spikes and two blocks. Zhu joined the 30-point club and outscored the previous top scorer in Rio 2016, Kim Yeon-Koung of Korea. 

Rio 2016

Lonneke Sloetjes of the Netherlands scored 19 points, and four others – Judith Pietersen, Robin De Kruijf, Anne Buijs and Celeste Plak – scored in double digits.

China led in blocks 10-6, while the Netherlands led in aces 8-2. The Asians limited their errors to 17, but the Netherlands had 27 unforced errors in the match.

The Netherlands’ De Kruijf, Pietersen and Buijs had a fiery start to lead 12-6. China made some excellent digs to enable playmaker Wei Qiuyue to set to their main hitter Zhu. The Chinese led towards the end but the Netherlands had another great run to extend the set, but the former still prevailed 27-25. 

China led at the start of the second set, but had a good challenge from the Netherlands that resulted to a lot of deadlocks. Plak’s entry into the set helped the Netherlands hold on to the lead. China managed to reduce the gap, but not enough to snatch the set, as the Netherlands got away with a 25-23 win.

The Netherlands led throughout the third set, but the Asian side made a fabulous run down the stretch and Yuan Xinyue’s block wiped out the Dutch lead. Hui Ruoqi’s spike gave China its first lead in the set at 24-23, then both sides traded points for another set extension. China emerged on top 29-27 from De Kruijf’s service blunder and Zhu’s spike.

China opened the fourth set with a 3-0 run and kept their lead until the middle of the set. Plak and Sloetjes’ excellent attacks brought the Netherlands back to tie the score at 13-all. Both sides played with a lot of intensity until the end, but Zhu confronted the Dutch blockers to give her team a 22-20 edge. The Netherlands tried to bridge the gap but Gong Xiangyu and Hui secured set and match 25-23.