ARAKI LEADS JAPAN IN 3-0 VICTORY OVER PUERTO RICO
Nagoya, Japan, October 8, 2018 – Erika Araki tallied a team-high 12 points as Japan downed Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-18) at the FIVB Women’s World Championship on Monday night.
Yuki Ishii scored 10 points and Miyu Nagaoka and Mai Okumura had nine points each in the triumph.
Daly Santana paced Puerto Rico with 13 points in the loss.
Japan entered the match with a 5-1 mark, while Puerto Rico was 2-4.
One night after being taken to five sets by the Dominican Republic, Japan made short work of Puerto Rico.
The contest was marked by quick points and had only a few long rallies, with Japan controlling the tempo almost the entire way.
Japan sported a balanced attack in the win, as opposed to a single player running up big numbers. They were strong passing and in reception.
Puerto Rico was unable to score in bunches against their faster opponents and commmitted many unforced errors.
Japan went on the offensive early in the first set and was up 12-6. After Stephanie Enright fired a spike wide Japan led 16-9 at the second TTO. A block by Ishii made it 19-11 for Japan. The hosts did well in reception in the opening set. Puerto Rico tried to make a late comeback in the set, cutting their deficit to 22-18 and causing Japan to call a timeout. Japan beat back the push and took the set 25-22 on a spike by Risa Shinnabe.
Daly Santana fired a spike long and Japan had an 11-6 lead in the second set. A spike by Mai Okumura put Japan ahead 16-8. A nice option play for Araki stretched Japan’s advantage to 22-12. Japan took the set 25-14.
An ace by Noami Santos pulled Puerto Rico within a point at 10-9 down in the third set. By the second TTO, Japan was on top by 16-10. A spike by Ishii made it 19-13 and Japan moved toward the finish line. Japan closed out the match 25-18 on a block by Nagaoka.
Japan coach Kumi Nakada: Yesterday we played five sets. Today there were many things. We got the three points. Tomorrow we are off. The next game we will try to unify the hearts of the team and have everyone together to give our all to proceed to the next round. I didn’t use (Ai) Kurogo today because I didn’t want hurt to get hurt. I gave her a rest.
Puerto Rico coach Jose Mieles: We were reminded of the high technical capacity of Japan tonight. They only had 10 errors in the match, while we had 29. It is difficult to win like that. Japan is quick and that caused us to make many mistakes. We will do our best in the remaining two matches.
Japan player Erika Araki: The team changed from last night but we won 3-0 which is good. I didn’t attack well yesterday. Today I was better. We are going to unite to work hard for our next two matches against Serbia and Brazil.
Japan player Yuki Ishii: We got three points today. Our play was not high in perfection. We must correct and adjust our game for Serbia. We hope to do well from the beginning in the next.
Puerto Rico captain Natalia Valentin: The speed of Japan and low amount of errors made us unable to execute our gameplan. We have to try to continue to get better in our last two matches.
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