Mayu Ishikawa was in action for the Toray Arrows.

Tokyo, Japan, October 21, 2020 – The first weekend of action in the Japanese V1 Women’s League took place on Saturday and Sunday with ten matches played across the two days.

A key highlight came from Fuyumi Hawi Okumu Ohba. On Sunday Ohba neared her career scoring total of 43 (2017-2020 seasons) in a single match with 40 points on 37 kills and 3 blocks in Hitachi Rivale’s 3-2 win over Toyota Auto Body Queenseis.

Considering that Japanese women’s national team captain Erika Araki still had seven blocks in the front row rotation against Ohba made it an impressive performance.

Hitachi also won against Victorina Himeji in a five-set match on Saturday. Victorina became the first team in the Japanese league to wear skorts, which required league approval to add skorts to the approved apparel list.

Toray Arrows swept their matches 3-0 against Saitama Ageo Medics (Saturday) and PFU Blue Cats (Sunday) to top the league with 6 points and maximum sets ratio. Mayu Ishikawa had 15 points (4 aces) on Saturday and then 17 points (3 blocks, 2 aces) on Sunday for the Arrows.

JT Marvelous also swept their two opening matches 3-0 against Okayama Seagulls (Saturday) and 3-1 against Hisamitsu Springs (Sunday). Annie Drews was the spark plug for the Marvelous with 50 points (23 on Saturday, 27 on Sunday) and showing that the team is ready to defend their title. In the loss for the Springs, Miyu Nagaoka returned to the court for the first time since December 2018 after injuring her left knee while playing for Imoco Volley in the Italian’s Women’s League. Nagaoka started on the court in the second set and shed a couple of tears before the set started. She played the rest of the match and had eight points on 19 swings in the loss.

On Saturday, American Simone Lee scored 22 points on 19 kills and 3 blocks in her team Kurobe Aqua Fairies’s 3-2 win over the PFU Blue Cats. Two of her teammates also went for 20 points in the match, Kaori Mabashi (15 kills, 5 blocks) and Sayo Masuda (17 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace).

NEC Red Rockets took down Okayama Seagulls 3-1 on Sunday to open their season. Former Japanese national team middle blocker Haruyo Shimamura had 19 points on 17 kills for the Red Rockets. Her teammate Misaki Yamauchi had 25 (2 blocks, 3 kills) as well. NEC are still waiting for Turkey’s Neriman Ozsoy to join the team.

Match Results for October 17, 2020
JT Marvelous 3-0 Okayama Seagulls (25-20, 25-22, 25-21)
Toray Arrows 3-0 Saitama Ageo Medics (25-20, 25-18, 25-14)
Hisamitsu Springs 3-0 Denso Airybees (25-23, 26-24, 26-24)
Hitachi Rivale 3-2 Victorina Himeji (25-16, 22-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-12)
Kurobe Aqua Fairies 3-2 PFU Blue Cats (25-20, 19-25, 19-25, 25-19, 15-12)

Match Results for October 18, 2020
Hitachi 3-2 Toyota Auto Body Queenseis (16-25, 25-15, 21-25, 25-20, 15-13)
JT Marvelous 3-1 Hisamitsu (25-22, 25-27, 25-19, 25-13)
Toray 3-0 PFU (25-13, 25-10, 25-17)
NEC Red Rockets 3-1 Okayama (19-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-18)
Saitama Ageo 3-1 Kurobe (23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23)

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