Saskatoon, Canada, June 25, 2016 - Qingyao Dai contributed 21 points to help China claim their first win of the FIVB Volleyball World League 2016 in Saskatoon, Canada on Saturday, beating Portugal 3-1 (25-18, 22-25, 25-16, 25-20)
The 24-year-old wing spiker was on fine form in attack, registering 20 spikes in the process with Portugal having no answer for his swift kills.
The win lifts them from the foot of the Group 2 table and ends a five-match losing streak in their 200th encounter ever in the tournament. For Portugal, it was a 16th loss in 17 matches.
The first set saw China going on short point runs and outscoring Portugal who seemed to get off to a slow start. This continued throughout the set and China finished off the set with couple of good points from Qingyao including a service ace to give them set point at 24-17 and a spike off the top of the block from the back row for a kill two points later. China won set one convincingly 25-18.
Portugal went out to an early lead in the second, reacting to that opening set loss, and continued to control the frame with tough serving and precision attacking. China found themselves playing catch up throughout the set and Portugal never trailed. The world No.30 showed poise often in the set, with smart attacking, often outwaiting China’s bigger block and finding hands or open court for points. Portugal led 16-13 at the second technical timeout and while China pressed at the end of the set, some late strong serving put China off balance and Portugal took the set 25-22.
Set three saw another momentum shift early and China led 8-5 at the first technical time out, controlling play and taking advantage of a few unforced errors by Portugal. Portugal never seemed to refocus this set and China took advantage of Portugal’s unforced errors. Leading 16-9 at the second technical time out, China controlled play in the second half of the set and cruised to a 25-16 win.
In set four, China continued and capitalized on the momentum built in the previous set. Portugal stayed with China early and trailed just 8-7 at the first technical timeout. As the set progressed, China’s formidable block and high hitting won out over Portugal’s chippy attacking and tough serves. Service errors and China’s consistent execution proved Portugal’s undoing in this set. Ji Daoshuai of China spiked it off the block from the left side and out to close out set 4 by a score of 25-19. China wins 3 sets to 1 (25-18, 22-25, 25-16, 25-20) to take their first match of the weekend.