Yuji Nishida of Japan led his club JTEKT Stings at the weekend

Tokyo, Japan, December 9, 2020 – Two of the bright stars in the Japanese V1 Men’s League, Yuji Nishida of the JTEKT Stings and Poland’s Bartosz Kurek of Wolfdogs Nagoya were scheduled to meet twice this past weekend and both lived up to expectations.

In Friday’s match, Nishida got the better of Kurek both in scoring and in the 3-1 victory for JTEKT. Nishida had 30 points (including four blocks), while Kurek finished with 25 (one block). Kurek’s Wolfdogs teammate Kenta Takanashi also had 20 (two blocks) in the loss.

In Saturday’s match, however, the Wolfdogs dominated to win 3-1. Kurek also flipped Friday’s script to score 34 points (two blocks), while Nishida had 29 (one block and two aces) in the match. Takanashi for Nagoya again contributed 20 points, but this time had three blocks and three aces in the win. Nagoya’s win would keep them in the league lead.

Panasonic Panthers faced JT Thunders Hiroshima in their two matches over the weekend. On Saturday, the Panthers won 3-2, while Sunday’s match was easier for the Panthers with a 3-0 win. The two victories pushed the Panthers into second place with only the sets ratio tiebreaker keeping Nagoya in front of them. Issei Ohtake’s 45 (three blocks and four aces) points led the Panthers in scoring in both matches.

Sakai Blazers met Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler in their two matches. On Saturday, the Blazers needed five sets to win 3-2, 15-13 in the fifth set on a hitting error by Oita. Sunday’s match was decided in four sets and went to the Blazers 3-1. Naoya Takano led the Blazers with 18 (four blocks and an ace) on Saturday and 23 (three blocks and three aces) for a combined 41 points over the weekend. His teammate Yuki Higuchi had 19 points in each match. Bryan Bagunas of the Philippines for Oita led them with 40 points (two blocks) over the two matches. Oita remained in last place and are the only team without a victory this season.

FC Tokyo and VC Nagano Tridents had both of their matches go five-sets, both of which were taken by FC Tokyo 3-2. For VC Nagano, Indonesia’s Rivan Nurmulki led all scorers on Saturday with 34 points (two blocks and an ace) in the loss. In Sunday’s match, Serbian Petar Premovic had 27 (three blocks and two aces) for FC Tokyo in the win. FC Tokyo had an 18-9 blocking advantage and a 7-4 service ace advantage in the Sunday win. Nurmulki had an off day in Sunday’s match with only 12 kills on 35 swings for the Tridents.

The two Suntory Sunbirds vs. Toray Arrows matches planned for this past weekend were postponed after a Sunbirds player tested positive for the Covid-19 virus before Saturday’s matches were to be played. The league has not announced a new date for these matches at this time.

This past weekend’s matches were the last ones for the 2020 calendar year. Play will restart for the V1 Men’s League on January 9, 2021.

Match results for December 4, 2020
JTEKT Stings – Wolfdogs Nagoya 3-1 (18-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-18)

Match results for December 5, 2020
Sakai Blazers – Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler 3-2 (25-15, 28-30, 25-21, 24-26, 15-13)
Panasonic Panthers – JT Thunders Hiroshima 3-2 (22-25, 25-17, 24-26, 26-24, 15-12)
FC Tokyo – VC Nagano Tridents 3-2 (25-27, 30-28, 25-21, 22-25, 15-10)
Wolfdogs Nagoya – JTEKT Stings 3-1 (27-25, 25-27, 25-20, 25-16)

Match results for December 6, 2020
Panasonic Panthers – JT Thunders Hiroshima 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-20)
Sakai Blazers – Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-18, 25-22)
FC Tokyo – VC Nagano Tridents 3-2 (25-20, 21-25, 22-25, 25-18, 15-7)

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