Volleyball News

Surabaya, Indonesia, July 30, 2017 – Title-holders Japan proved too strong for Australia on Sunday to beat the old foes in comfortable straight sets 25-21 25-16 25-22 in the quarter-final encounter of the SMM 19th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship, their rematch of the recent FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship AVC Qualifier Pool B in Canberra, Australia.

Japan, which stunned hosts and defending champions Iran to capture their 8th Asian title in Tehran two years ago, performed brilliantly in this match against the Aussies, whom they beat 3-2 at the AVC Qualifier. Prolific Yuki Ishikawa and Masahiro Yanagida remained the Japan’s major forces to penetrate the Australian defence with their exceptional attacks for the 25-21 win in the opener.

Conceding one set, Australia put in their brave fight in the second set, with Nathan Roberts and Lincoln Williams overcoming the smaller blockers with their onslaughts. However, the Japanese started to cope well with the rivals’ tactics and techniques and bounced back with terrific mid-court attacks from Yanagida. Japan sealed the second-set win 25-16. Australia tried hard for a comeback, but Japan held on to win the close set 25-22 and match.

Masahiro Yanagida led Japan with 16 points from 11 kills, one block and 4 aces, while Yuki Ishikawa had 12 kills and one block. Nathan Roberts topscored with 11 points for Australia, with Lincoln Williams adding 7 kills and one each from blocking and serving.

“I think Australia played without their libero and therefore, they had difficulties in passing. We improved on our side-outs and it made our game run smoothly. Except the end of the game, I think everything worked well. As far as I know, there is nothing much different for the Australian side here and when they played us in the World Championship AVC Qualifier. Only a few players in their team are missing including the libero. Actually, Australia have a good libero, but not here in this tournament. As we already reach the semi-finals, no mater which team, Iran or Indonesia, we are ready to fight it out. Iran are not the senior team, but the U23 side. We just try to focus on our hope for a successful title defence,” Japan’s head coach Yuichi Nakagaichi commented after the match.


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