Ningbo, China, July 5, 2015 - Ting Zhu has an impressive haul of 29 points, leading China to the top of the Pool after a 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 25-13, 25-23) win over Russia. Nataliya Goncharova is impressive for Russia with 26 points but it isn't enough to stop China winning in Ningbo to delight the home crowd
With both sides unbeaten so far in the Pool, this clash was always going to be close encounter with the home side starting as slight favourites. They duly opened up a four point gap at 7-3 as Russia fought to stay with the home team who were intent on making their mark in the game. Ting Zhu was already controling the net for China as they continued to keep their noses in front before wrapping up the first set 25-21.
Russia needed to start the secnd set with intent and Nataliya Goncharova was leading the Russians with a strong performance all round as they edged ahead 8-5. It was expected that the home side would mount a comeback but Russia seemed to grow stronger, increasing the lead to six points at 19-13. China had no answer to Russia's surge and they continued to level the tie at 1-1 with a second set 25-21 victory.
With a high level of play, the third set was again tight in early exchanges but roared on by the home crowd, China took the game to their European opponents and created a four point lead at 10-6. This time the home team were not about to allow Russia to haul themselves back into the set and they increased their lead seven points at 16-9 with Ting Zhu building points for the home side. China wrapped up the set comfortably by 25-13 to take a 2-1 lead in sets.
Ting Zhu continued her relentless scoring performance in the fourth set for China, who seemed to have mastered the European fightback as they led 6-3 after the early exchanges. Russia had no answer to the Chinese power at the net as the lead increased to seven at 15-8. However Russia began their fightback closing to within three points at 17-14 with Goncharova keeping her side within touching distance. Despite the late rally by Russia, the home China held on to take a 3-1 victory with a 25-23 win.
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