Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, May 14, 2017 – Powerhouses Japan registered their first win at the SMM 2nd Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship at The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima’s MCC Hall following a scintillating 25-12, 25-15, 25-21 victory over Vietnam on Sunday.
Japan got the first set with an aggressive start to take an initial 16-10 lead, thanks to their exceptional teamwork and good serves, while Vietnam struggled on their reception.
Nanaka Sakamoto emerged as a smashing machine for Japan as she produced some powerful spikes to help Japan take the effortless first set 25-12. In the next two sets, Vietnam still suffered with Japan’s tenacity and good serves, but they upped their tempo despite the fact that their determined efforts were in vain. Japan proved that they are one of the strong teams to win this tournament, taking the second and third sets 25-15, 25-21 without much trouble.
“We prepared well for this match as we knew Vietnam are a very strong team and they have good spikers. We trained together only two weeks before this tournament. Our goal is to win the tournament, but I found that Thailand and Kazakhstan will be our toughest opponents. We will do our best in the next round,” said Japan’s head coach Kiyoshi Abo.
Nanaka Sakamoto topscored for Japan with 10 points, while Hikari Kato,Ayaka Sugi and Nozomi Itoh scored 9 points apiece. Tran Thi Thanh Thuy led Vietnam with 11 points.
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