China downs Korea to reach Asian U23 women's volley final and secure spot in world championships
China star Liu Yanhan easily gets the ball past a single defender. Freddie Dionisio

CHINA beat Korea, 25-13, 25-21, 25-21, on Friday night to clinch a finals berth in the 2015 Asian Under-23 World Championship at the Philsports Arena.

Liu Yanhan scored a match-high 26 points, 19 on attacks, five on blocks, and two on aces, as China also secured one of the two berths in the FIVB World Under-23 Championship in Turkey in August.

China, which needed five sets to beat Korea in its previous outing in the second round, came out stronger this time, finishing the match in an hour and 21 minutes to advance to the title match against the winner of the Japan-Thailand semifinal.

The final is set on Saturday, 4:30 p.m.

China, the reigning Under-23 world champion, admitted dropping a set against the Philippines in the quarterfinals on Thursday was a wake-up call.

“Yes,” said Xu through an interpreter when asked if there was added motivation for them after losing a set to the Philippines. “Last match we didn’t prepare enough before so Philippines gave pressure for us.”

"Today, we prepared for Korea a lot harder,” Xu added.

Lee Soyoung had 15 points for Korea, which will take on either Japan or Thailand for the bronze.

Liu started the scoring rampage in the third set, hitting four consecutive spikes as China took a 16-4 lead.

A 6-0 run moved Korea to within 18-22, before Yixin Zheng scored on a running spike to stop Korea’s momentum and Xintong Chen blocked Soyoung Lee’s attack to position China at match point, 24-18.

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