Volleyball News

Ljubljana, Slovenia, September 15, 2017 – Japan made short work of Kenya in their last pool match of the 2017 FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship here in Ljubljana on Friday afternoon. The Asians powered to an undisputed straight-set (15-7, 15-8, 15-6, 15-9) win against the chanceless African side.

All matches in Ljubljana are played under a new scoring system currently being tested: a best-of-seven, 15-point set format.

With today’s win, Japan have improved their win-loss record to 2-3 but depend on the result of Brazil versus Cuba whether they stay in the competition or not. The Caribbean, though, need three points in their duel with Brazil to run past Japan and make it to the 5-8 semifinals.

For Kenya, the 2017 FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship campaign ended today with their fifth defeat in as many matches. The African side is still waiting for their first set win in a women’s U23 world championship contest.

Misaki Yamauchi finished with a match-high nine kills for Japan while Yvone Wavinya and Yvone Wafula Sinaida contributed five points apiece for the losing side.

Kenya showed huge efforts to challenge Japan in the early stages of the match but could not cope with the speed and precision the Asians displayed. After the second set, Japan coach Kiyoshi Abo sent in four new players – however – it had no influence on the outcome of the match. After only 51 minutes, Japan closed it out with a Kenya service flying long.

Japan coach Kiyoshi Abo: “My players were more focused today. After yesterday’s match when Turkey stopped our attacking, we tried to improve our play in attack. We succeeded and that is one reason why we won today against Kenya. As we might play against China in the 5-8 semis, I gave a chance to my other players in order to prepare well against the strongest Asian volleyball team.”

Japan captain Misaki Yamauchi: “We are very happy to win this match as it was very important for us. Our tactics was to win as much points as possible with our attacks. For us every match counts as we would like to achieve the highest possible ranking in this championship.”

Kenya coach Catherine Mabwi: “My players tried their best in their first international tournament. They had a very good experience here. I believe when they return they will work on their mistakes. In the next championships, they will perform better. We had many problems with injuries. It becomes a bit of a challenge to play with 12 players. This has really affected my team and I have to admit it has also disoriented me.”

Kenya captain Shyrine Jepkemboi: “We played well today but at some point during the match we lost concentration. It has been in general a good experience for us to play here in Ljubljana; we learnt a lot from other players as these were our first international matches.”


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