Brazil (BRA) vs. China (CHN) women - Quarterfinals #5818977

China's captain Yuan was a wall at the net, registering seven blocks

China are back in the Volleyball Nations League semifinals after two years as the Asians won the third quarterfinal duel in the Finals of the 2023 edition of the tournament on Thursday in Arlington, the United States.

The three-time Olympic champions had a very strong performance against Brazil, topping the South Americans 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 20-25, 25-23) at the College Park Center to become the third team guaranteed in the semifinals of the tournament.

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The Chinese will face Poland, the top team in the Preliminary Phase, in one of the semifinals of the event, on Saturday. The second encounter will have the United States and the winners of the quarterfinal duel between Italy and Türkiye, which will be played later on Thursday. The medal matches are scheduled for Sunday.

The Asians are now back in the semifinals of the VNL after two years – they were fifth in 2021 and sixth last year. The Chinese took bronze on the two occasions they made it to the Final Four, in 2018 and 2019.

Li Yingying and Gong Xiangyu carried the Chinese offense, combining for 30 points. The 23-year-old outside hitter tallied a team high 16 (all in kills), while the 26-year-old Olympic champion opposite added another 14, all registered in the offense too.

“Brazil are a great team, but we prepared really well for this match,” Li reacted. “We were ready for the difficult moments they put us into and had the determination to win the match. I’m happy for today’s win. Our blocking wasn’t as good before, but we worked on it in training and it was much better. We need to keep the same focus and to keep going.”

Brazil (BRA) vs. China (CHN) women - Quarterfinals #5819063

Li was an offensive force for China with 16 points in kills

Team captain and middle blocker Yuan Xinyue also had a spectacular performance, registering 13 points and being responsible for nearly half of the Chinese blocks with seven stuffs.

Despite the defeat, Brazil had the two main scorers of the match in middle blocker Thaisa Menezes, who registered 18 points (17 kills, one ace), and team captain and star outside hitter Gabriela ‘Gabi’ Guimarães, who scored 16 (14 kills, one ace, one block).

China’s blocking, which generated 15 points to Brazil’s six, was a major factor in the match, but the Asians also took great advantage of the higher number of errors made by the South Americans – 30 to 15. The Brazilians had the edge in kills (60 to 49) and aces (eight to one).

**Volleyball Nations League 2023: full schedule and results**

The fourth and last quarterfinal duel will take place later on Thursday in Arlington, with defending champions Italy facing Türkiye at 14:00 local time (19:00 UTC).

The first two encounters were held on Wednesday, with Poland defeating Germany 3-1 (25-12, 21-25, 25-21, 26-24) and the United States overcoming Japan also in four sets (25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 25-18).

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