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China defeat US 3-0 to secure gold
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Athens 2004 Paralympic Games gold medalists China secured their second consecutive Paralympic gold medal by defeating the United States in straight sets (25-14, 25-19, 25-15) in the Women's Sitting Volleyball final match at CAU (China Agricultural University) Gymnasium on Sunday, September 14.

Team USA fought with all their energy to try to upset favorite China, but their offence was too inconsistent and the team also struggled on defense.

The hosts proved good at creating confusion in the opposite side of the court and star spiker Sheng Yuhong did not disappoint, scoring 28 points in a one-woman show.

The United States took the lead at the beginning of the first set, but China overtook them at 8-7. The US team was attacking strongly with Kendra Lancaster and Katie Holloway, but their shots were often too long.

Receiving errors and poor ball handling under the net prevented the US team from getting into their own game, while China was scoring on spikes by Sheng and on a couple of kill blocks by Zhang Lijun. The host team closed the set 25-14.

The beginning of the second set was even, with long rallies and steady attacks from both sides. But China did not wait long before it began to take advantage of Sheng's spikes and its opponent's inaccuracies under the net.

The North American team tried to close the gap with their offence, but a defensive error on a spike by Sheng gave the set to China 25-19.

Team USA looked more and more disorganized in the third set. Erratic attacks and kill blocks by Lora Webster could not make up for too many errors in ball handling and on defense.

The ubiquitous Sheng marked the victory by serving a ball that Webster could not dig to finish up at 25-15.

(BOCOG September 14, 2008)

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