Pac-12 All-Star Team tops Beijing team in five sets, secure winning tour record

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Pac-12 Conference

BEIJING – Breaking its losing skid and securing a winning-record for the trip, the Pac-12 All-Star Team defeated the Beijing professional team Wednesday 18-25, 32-30, 35-33, 25-23, 15-12.

The Pac-12 moved to 4-2, playing its third-straight five-set match and the fourth match of the trip to go the distance. The experience with close sets came in handy when the team fell behind 9-12 in the final frame. Taylor Simpson, a junior from Colorado, registered back-to-back kills and the local team had a hitting error to even the score at 12. Washington’s Melanie Wade stymied the opponent at the net with two solo blocks and combined with Stanford’s Brittany Howard on a block that ended the match.

After winning the first two sets, it looked as if the Pac-12 could win in three for the first time on the trip. Beijing’s attack came alive in the third set, and the lead teetered between the teams until it was knotted at 25. The all-stars staved-off the set-winning point four times before the Chinese team put together back-to-back kills.

Cruising to a 13-9 lead in the fourth set, the Pac-12 was aided by a number of Beijing hitting errors. The middle blockers and opposite-side hitters for the local team came alive to even the score at 18 and take the lead, 22-21, it would not relinquish.

The Pac-12 will play its final match of the tour Thursday evening in a rematch against the Beijing team.