Too dominant: US overcome late surging Germany, while China are too strong for the Netherlands
Americans and Chinese easily swat aside opponents on opening night of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix tournament in Hong Kong
Tournament favourites, the United States, made it three victories in a row against Germany on Friday night in the women’s FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix at the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hung Hom.
The US, who had beaten the Germans at two previous legs of the grand prix series so far, opened their Hong Kong campaign with a resounding 3-0 victory despite a late surge by their pool A1 opponents.
In another match on the opening night of the Hong Kong leg of the grand prix, China, currently the joint leaders of the series along with Russia, continued their winning streak as they defeated the Netherlands in straight sets (25-22, 25-23, 25-21), thrilling the fans at the packed Coliseum.
After beating Germany in the Ningbo and Long Beach legs of the grand prix in the first two weeks, the Americans were on the hunt for victory again.
But the Germans gave the Americans a minor scare with a late surge, led by spiker Louisa Lippmann, who scored 19 points, the highest of the night for the team.
Nicole Fawcett of the US, scored 15 points from her 29 spike attempts.
Germany coach Felix Koslowski felt sorry for his young side for failing to win even one set after losing to the Americans 25-19, 25-22, 30-28 in 90 minutes.
They should have pulled one set back in the third after taking it 26-24, but the US successfully challenged the scoreline through the Hawk-Eye system to regain a point and level the score at 25-25.
The United States finally secured the victory after struggling to win the set and then the match after deuce.
“We were getting better and better from the second set and stablised a little bit more on possession,” said Koslowski.
“We fought really hard as it was our goal to get at least one set from the Americans. It was a bit sad for my young players for failing to do so, but it was also the high quality of the United States that gave them the victory.”
Coach Karch Kiraly of the United States said it was a good test for his charges before they play the Netherlands in their second match on Saturday. China will play Germany in another match.
“Their coach did a good job of teaching the German players of never stopping and never giving up,” said Kiraly.
“We almost won for sure, but we did not because of their effort. We also had some difficulty in slowing down their number 11 [Louisa Lippmann].
“There was some good pressure for us, but we learned and would try to get better for tomorrow.”