After taking the first two sets 25-21 and 25-19, Zhejiang suddenly lost steam, allowing Liaoning to level two sets back 25-19 and 25-15 to force the tiebreaker. Falling behind 5-1 in the last and final set, Zhejiang finally found back their rhythm to seal the decider 15-13 and its sixth victory in 11 matches.
Yu Shiyu had 18 points to spearhead four Zhejiang spikers in double scoring digits while Liaoning was led by Shi Bingtong’s 22 points.
With the hard fought victory, Zhejiang placed eighth in the 13 participating teams with 16 points and secured a top eight finish in the round robin stage with one last match to play.
Resting star spiker Zhu Ting, league leader Tianjin eased past Fujian 3-0 (25-9, 25-20, 25-14) to improve to a 10-1 win-loss record with Wang Yizhu scoring a team-high 16 points and Chinese internationals Li Yingying and Wang Yuanyuan adding 15 apiece.
Rio Olympic champions Zhang Changning and Gong Xiangyu combined for 39 points to lead Jiangsu to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-22) clean sweep of Guangdong.
In Thursday’s other action, Guangdong defeated Beijing 3-0 (25-17, 25-15, 25-18), Hebei lost to Yunnan 3-1 (25-17, 25-15, 12-25, 28-26) and Shanghai overcame Sichuan 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-17).