Russia squeezed past hosts Japan on the second day of action at the FIVB Women's World Cup ©FIVB

China and Russia continued their unbeaten runs in contrasting fashion on the second day of the action at the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Women's World Cup in the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Matsumoto, while world champions United States suffered a shock loss to Serbia.

Chasing their fourth World Cup title and a first victory since 2003, the Chinese proved far too strong for Algeria with a 25-5, 25-11, 25-8 victory.

Always the heavy favourites, the 2014 world silver medallists could even afford to rest several of their top players as Zeng Chunlei top scored with 12 points while Liu Yanhan added 11.

It was much tougher for Russia as they faced a partisan home crowd as well as strong opponents in their Group A clash against Japan.

After being blown away 25-12 in the opening set, the European side fought back to take the next two sets 25-18, 25-21 before losing a thrilling fourth 23-25.

With Tatiana Kosheleva leading the way with a tournament high of 34 points, including 29 spikes and five blocks, the Russians held their nerve to silence the home crowd and claim the decider 15-13.

Nataliya Obmochaeva also scored 22 points for Russia, while Japan captain Saori Kimura managed 23.

China were more comfortable 3-0 winners over Algeria on the second day of action ©FIVB
China were more comfortable 3-0 winners over Algeria on the second day of action ©FIVB

Elsewhere today, Dominican Republic recorded their first won of the competition with a hard fought 28-26, 26-24, 25-17 triumph over Kenya, who have performed well despite losing both of their matches so far. 

An excellent blocking and service game proved enough for Argentina to win a Latin American dual with Cuba 25-15, 25-21, 25-23, with captain Emilce Sosa leading the way with 17 points.

South Korea also blocked well en route to a 25-19, 25-18, 25-18 victory over Peru, but the shock result of the day saw Serbia beating the US in a five-set thriller.

The Balkan side were 2-1 down at one point before hitting back to win 25-20, 22-25, 18-25, 25-19, 15-6.

Tijana Boskovic scored 20 points from attacks and serves, while Brankica Mihajlovic managed 21 from 19 spikes and two blocks.

Action will continue across Japan with three rounds of action before a final is due on September 6.

Six more matches are scheduled to take place tomorrow with the top two teams overall also gaining qualification spots for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

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