JAPAN STUN REIGNING CHAMPIONS CHINA 3-0 AT ASIAN WOMEN’S U19 CHAMPIONSHIP
Bac Ninh, Vietnam, June 10, 2018 – In-form Japan pulled off a stunning 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-13) victory over reigning and 12-time champions China in their first Pool A match at the 19th Asian Women’s U19 Volleyball Championship at the Bac Ninh Gymnasium here on Sunday.
Haruna Yamashita led Japan with 18 points including 16 kills from 27 attempts, while Miyu Nakagawa and Shion Hirayama contributed 12 points apiece. Sun Ruo Qing topscored China with 10 points.
Japan excelled in their defence in the opening set, while their offensive combinations mixed by powerful attacks of Haruna Yamashita and Miyu Nakagawa also worked out pretty well which won them the comfortable first set 25-16.
Taking the first set, Japan remained aggressive in the second set. The Chinese pulled their game together hoping to make amends for the first-set loss. With Sun Ruo Qing and Che Wenhan unleashing thundering spikes, China matched the Japanese offensively. However, Japan’s cannons Haruna Yamashita and Miyu Nakagawa had enough to help Japan hold the rivals off with their onslaughts. Japan took the closely-contested second set 25-22.
In the third set, Japan came out full force to take total control, leading from start to finish to capture the one-sided set 25-13 and match. Japan next take on Thailand on Monday, while China, which captured the world title two yeas ago in Mexico, play Vietnam.
“China are very strong and this match is very important for us. My players did a great job. We did our best in this match and we did not exactly know if China are at their best. Our service, defence and combinations are our key points to victory. We next play Thailand. Before competing in this championship, we considered China and Thailand as our strong rivals. We can’t underestimate these two teams and we then prepared well to play them. We had only two players here who competed in the Asian U18 squad. They are No.10 Mao Ito and No.14 Ayaka Araki. We trained 30 days ahead of this tournament,” Japan coach Kiyoshi Abo commented after the match.
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