Tokyo, Japan, January 4, 2016 – Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza and Hisamitsu Springs were on cloud nine after capturing the recent Emperor’s Cup and Empress’ Cup Volleyball Championships.
It was a very first time for Toyoda Gosei to advance to the final showdown in the men’s Emperor’s Cup which saw a total of 536 teams vie for the top honour on December 27, 2015. Toyoda Gosei faced an uphill task against JT Thunders, defending champion and 2014/15 V Premier League winner. Toyoda Gosei won the first two sets with hard attacks and serves of Croatian opposite Igor Omrčen.
However, JT, fielding a strong line-up with the likes of Brazilian opposite Leandro Vissotto, showed solid defense and fought back bravely to take the third set. Still, they could not stop the onslaughts from the Croat attacker to go down in dramatic four sets 19-25 22-25 25-21 21-25.
Omrčen was satisfied with the team’s performances. “I am very happy with the result. Also I appreciate our supporters and my team-mates’ dedication.”
Swedish head coach Anders Kristiansson praised his players, “I’m really proud of my players. We could show what we have built up as a team for these two years. It’s true that we had very difficult moment that being reconciled to the lowest rank in the national league. However, we could overcome the difficulty, so I’m very grateful to lead this team to victory.”
Meanwhile, the women’s Empress’ Cup saw strong players of Japan national team for the FIVB World Cup 2015 join the fray including Sarina Koga and Haruyo Shimamura for NEC and Miyu Nagaoka, Yuki Ishii, Chizuru Kotoh, and Kotoki Zayasu for Hisamitsu Springs.
It was the second time that these two teams confronted each other in the final of national tournaments in the Year 2014/15 consisting the V Premier League and the Empress’ Cup.
Thanks to Kotoh’s tricky serves, Hisamitsu had big lead in first set. NEC attempted hard to counter-attack Hisamitsu with devastating spikes from Shimamura and Risa Shiragaki, but Hisamitsu totally controlled the match and closed the match without much effort 25-13, 25-21, 25-22.
It was four times in a row for the Hisamitsu’s victory in the Empress’ Cup since Kumi Nakada started leading the team as head coach. During the interview, she said in tears, “I didn’t care about the number of championship, but had great pleasure. We missed the title of 2015 Asian Women’s Club Championship in September and had difficult time in national league this season. We came back what we are like by great effort of my players.”
Hisamitsu’s scorer Nagaoka, showing her delight, said, “I feel relieve to see everybody happy. My team-mates and I played well with good concentration in each set. I will keep in mind that I had great support from lots of people and will play our best again in 2016”.
Both Toyoda Gosei and Hisamitsu captured the top spot in the 2015/16 V Premier League in their latest ranking and are seeking more successes in another season.