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Tianjin clinches fifth league title in a row
( Xinhua/chinadaily.com.cb )

Tianjin clinches fifth league title in a row

Members of Tianjin team celebrate after winning the 2010-2011 China Women's Volleyball League finals in Guangzhou, April 3, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

GUANGZHOU, South China - Defending champions Tianjin outclassed Guangdong Hengda in a hard-fought five-set match to win the 2010-2011 China Women's Volleyball League on Sunday, claiming their eighth title in nine seasons, and also the fifth in a row.

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With a 12-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-20, 15-10 victory in the last match of the league finals, Tianjin improved its win-loss record to 2-1 to claim the title. The Hengda team, who advanced into the Division A this season, finished runner-up in the ten-team league.

Tianjin's spiker Chen Liyi scored 17 points and Yin Na contributed 16 points to help their teal rallied strongly back from two sets down to overpower Hengda.

"The importance of the victory is that we survived from a very difficult situation, this is a very importance experience for our young players." commented Tianjin's headcoach Liu Xiaoming.

Tianjin clinches fifth league title in a row

Tianjin's headcoach Liu Xiaoming (top) is lifted by players after the team defeats Guangdong Hengda to win their fifth China Women's Volleyball League title in a row, in Guangzhou, April 3, 2011. [Photo/CFP]

Hengda head coach Lang Ping praised the rival's defense and blocking and satisfaction with his players.

"We have done a good job, not only in this final, but also in all season," said Lang, "We have made progress and we did an excellent job in the first two sets today, but it is not good enough to realize our goal of a gold medal."

Hengda started strongly since the first minute and claw the first two sets victory easily with 25-12, 25-19.

Tianjin came back strongly in the third set. Started with 8-4, they managed to reach 20-18. With a kill and a block from Li Juan, Tianjin took the set 25-20.

The fourth set was almost a repeat of the third, only the fight turned more fierce to go further. Tianjin squandered an early lead 8-4 and extended the lead to 20-11. Hengda strived to catch up at 17-20, but only saw Tianjin answered with a 3-0 run and finished the set with Li's spike.

Both teams tied at 8-8 in the deciding fifth set, but then Tianjin launched a 7-2 run to clinch the match point. Logan Tom pull back one point for Hengda, but her serving flied into the net to give Tianjin the final victory.

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