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SHANGHAI, China – The Trinity Western University men’s volleyball team took to the court Monday against host Fudan University in Shanghai to open up the playing portion of their Goodwill Tour of China.

The Spartans dropped the first set 18-25, but after making adjustments they responded to take the next three sets and the match 3-1.

It took the Spartans time to get used to Fudan’s style of play, but TWU eventually settled in to take the match in four sets (18-25, 25-19, 25-20, and 25-18).

“It was a lot of fun playing a team that plays so different then what we normally see. They ran really fast patterns and have really quick arms. Plus they hit a little lower than we usually see and some of the new patterns and arm speed takes us a while to get used to,” commented TWU head coach Ben Josephson after the match.

“There were a lot of things going on, with the big facility, being tired from travel, and that is probably why we had a bit of a slow start. Fudan also had great ball control so we didn’t get any free kills. Everything that we didn’t hit crisp they picked up and we were a little bit off on our offence,” said Josephson. “But we got better as the match wore on and we were able to start imposing more of our physicality on the match, which is what swung the match for us.”

Fudan opened the match playing quickly, digging and passing well as they jumped out to a 16-11 lead. TWU was able to gain some stability in their play, but were unable to close the gap as they dropped the first set 25-18.

The Spartans made the necessary speed and power adjustments in the second set and led 16-10 at the second technical break, before tying up the match with a 25-19 second set win.

The third set was the closest of the match with TWU leading by one point, 16-15, at the second break. Strong serving got the Spartans the run that they needed as they took the third set 25-20.

TWU carried their momentum into the four set and led Fudan 16-11 at the break before taking the final set 25-18.

Tomorrow the Spartans will train will train at the Tang Dynasty Compound during the day, before playing an afternoon match with the Tang Dynasty Development Team.

Match Notes: Fudan and TWU also played a fifth set after the match was determined…Fudan won 25-23… The match was played at Zhengda Tiyuguan Gymnasium, which holds over 6,000 spectators, on Fudan’s South Campus…