RIMINI, Italy, June 8 (Xinhua) -- The United States beat Italy 3-1 here on Tuesday to remain as the only unbeaten team in the 2021 women's Volleyball Nations League.
Andrea Drews had 20 points and Michelle Bartsch-Hackley added 19 to help the American women take their ninth straight win in the 16-team round-robin preliminaries 25-18, 25-21, 20-25 and 25-16.
"I think Italy put up a good fight. They have some very talented young players, so we spent this match trying to navigate that and figure out how to stop them. And I'm just proud of my team for getting another win," said American Kelsey Robinson.
Earlier on Tuesday, China outlasted Brazil 3-2 to snap its four-match losing streak.
Zhang Changning scored game-high 36 points from 32 kills, two blocks and two aces to lift the Chinese women over Brazil 18-25, 25-22, 25-20, 14-25 and 15-12. Yang Hanyu, Wang Yuanyuan and Liu Xiaotong contributed 14, 11 and 9 points respectively to China's fourth win in nine tries.
"I'm very excited about this victory over Brazil. Despite some difficulties, we managed to do something that we wanted," said Zhang, who spearheaded the Chinese team in the absence of star spiker Zhu Ting. "The entire team worked for this victory, it's a team victory. In every skill - block, defense, spike, serve - we did our best to gain this victory."
Having missed the first nine rounds of preliminaries of the VNL, Zhu, Yuan Xinyue and four other regular starters are expected to play for China as the competitions resume on Saturday.
Also on Tuesday, Turkey beat Russia 3-2 in another five-set thriller to improve to an 8-1 win-loss record. The Turkish women now stood second behind the United States on the standings.
In Tuesday's other matches, Thailand lost to Dominican Republic 3-0, the Netherlands swept Canada 3-0, Japan rallied past Poland 3-2, Germany outgunned South Korea 3-0 and Belgium overcame Serbia 3-2.
The top four finishers from the preliminaries will qualify for the semifinals.