Volleyball News

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, May 15, 2017 – Devastating Japan proved too much for the hapless Uzbekistan to breeze past the minnows in a completely lop-sided encounter 25-6 25-11 25-12 to make a perfect sweep in Pool B at the end of the round-robin preliminaries of the SMM 2nd Asian Women’s U23 Volleyball Championship at The Mall Nakhon Ratchasima’s MCC Hall on Monday.

Before the flag-waving supporters from Hitachi Automotive Systems Korat, Japan, which finished fourth at the previous edition two years ago in the Philippines and the same position at the FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship in Turkey in 2015, performed brilliantly to comfortably win the first two sets 25-6 25-11. Uzbekistan tightened their defence, hoping to make amends in the third set. Nonetheless, their determination did not bear fruits when the Japanese stormed on with their exceptional tactics and well-organised teamwork. Japan snatched the set 25-12 and match.

Hard-attacking Rei Kudo led Japan with 12 points including 11 kills from 28 attempts. Powerful Kari Mabashi contributed with 11 points, all from her spectacular spikes. Barhayohon Umarova collected 3 points for Uzbekistan.

Japan, which downed Vietnam in straight sets in their opening match the previous day, topped Pool B as expected with six points from straight two wins. while Vietnam secured the second place with 3 points from one win against one loss. Winless Uzbekistan were relegated to the 9th-13th classification round.

Japan’s head coach Kiyoshi Abo commented after the match, “We trained well defensively and offensively in preparation for this match against Uzbekistan and it worked out pretty well with the win. I think this is an easy match for us despite the fact that Uzbekistan have their young, potential players with a good future. Fortunately, we were stronger with higher level in this match. We topped Pool B and will next play Malaysia and Iran. However, we try to make it one at a time. In my team, seven players joined the Japan’s U19 team in 2013 and Japan’s U20 squad in 2015, but none of them played in this year’s U19 Championship in China, where Japan also became the eventual champions.”


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