Week 1 of the Men’s VNL has finally begun. It was China who came away with the opening victory.

China claimed their first win of the tournament with a 3-2 (25-20, 21-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-9) victory over Bulgaria in the first match of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Men’s Division Week 1 at Nippongaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan on 6 June. Zhang Jingyin’s performance was outstanding. She scored 29 points, including six blocks and two service points, to lead her team to victory. Yuan Tai Wei added 15 points. Bulgaria was led by Aleksandar Nikolov with 22 points, but the loss of starting setter Georgi Vratoev proved fatal to the match.메이저사이트

At the start of the first set, China took a frightening lead. Peng Shikun’s service points, Li Yongjian’s blocking and Dimitar Dimitrov’s attack errors combined to give them a 4-0 lead. But while China faltered with frequent service errors, Bulgaria used Nikolov’s performance to erase the deficit.

The tide swung back in China’s favour at 16-15 when Zhang Jingyin scored after a crucial dig by Yu Yuantai. After an attack error by Nikolov, Bulgaria was unable to close the gap as Zhang Jingyin and Yu Yuantai continued their strong performances to take the first set 25-20.

The second set was all about Peng Shikun. He led his team with his fast attacking and blocking, as well as his dominance near the net. However, Bulgaria fought back with two consecutive service points from Martin Atanasov to make it another close game.

It was the Bulgarians who took the lead. Spurred on by the momentum, Atanasov’s back-to-back kills and a Chinese unforced error brought the score to 18-14. From there, Bulgaria continued to dominate the game. The wing attackers took over as China continued to struggle with errors. Bulgaria fought back to win the second set 25-21, with Atanasov responsible for the 25th point.

The third set was a back-and-forth affair, with China getting off to a good start with Peng Shikun and Li Yongjian in the centre. In response, Bulgaria’s setter Vratoev continued to falter, but their attackers were decisive and they managed to hold on.

Chasing hard, the Bulgarians finally broke through when Dimitrov scored three straight points on his own at 11-12. But China had Zhang Jingyin. Zhang Jingyin was outstanding in all aspects of the game, attacking, blocking and serving, and combined with the sensible attacking of Yu Yuantai, China reached the 20-point mark first. Bulgaria crumbled as Bratoev was unable to erase his nerves until the very end, with Yu Yantai scoring the final point to give China the third set 25-21.

In the fourth set, Bulgaria dropped Bratoev, who continued to falter, and stuck with setter Georgi Seganov. But it was still all China. Wang Dongchen and Yu Yuantai picked up the momentum with back-to-back blocking points. Zhang Jingyin also joined the blocking streak and China took a 7-3 lead.

Bulgaria fought back. Nikolov took centre stage in the offence, while Nikolay Penchev and Svetoslav Gotchev scored blocking points to pull back to 12-10. However, the Chinese quickly regained the lead with a block by Yuan Tai Yue and a service point by Li Yongjian, and the two teams battled back and forth. It was Bulgaria who had the last laugh. Nikolov’s firepower and Seganov’s more steady sets gave them the upper hand, and Penchev’s 25th point gave Bulgaria the fourth set, 25-20.

In the fateful fifth set, China took the lead with Wang Dongchen’s blocking and Zhang Jingyin’s attack. Bulgaria tried to fight back through Nikolov, but a determined straight shot from Nikolov at 2-3 proved costly. Meanwhile, China maintained their lead as Zhang Jingyin scored an open attack and serve to make it 7-4.

An open attack from Zhang Chuan brought China to 10 points before Zhang Jingyin scored with a clever streak at 11-8 to virtually seal the win. With even Nikolov committing attack errors, Bulgaria had no momentum left to catch up. Wang Dongchen’s serve and Li Yongjian’s block made it 15-9 and China secured their first win of the tournament.

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