Tokyo, 14th November 2019
Match 4 – JAPAN v USA
Match 5 – USA v RUSSIA
Match 6 – JAPAN v UKRAINE
JAPAN v USA – 0-3 (9-25 ; 10-25 ; 8-25)
USA got their second win of the tournament against host Japan by 3 sets to 0 and a total of 20 aces.
The first game of day 2 of the tournament started with Japan eager to get in the game and showing some energy very early on. USA’s serving got off to a very good start with Shifflett (#3) adding points to the score board early on at 5-1. The Japanese side were fired up and picking up all the balls in the backcourt forcing USA to speed up the play.
Fantastic defence on the Japanese side by Ogata (#6) and Nishiie (#1) did not prevent USA from taking a 15-5 lead with Erickson (#6) at the serve. Burkland (#7) then followed suit to 22-7 but was momentarily stopped by a great block from Saito (#5). It was too little too late however and USA took the first set 24-9
Japan raised their game in the second set with great blocking from Ogata (#6) but again not enough to stop Erickson (#6). This did not prevent them from putting more pressure at the net with Ogata (#6) again hitting hard through the wing getting to 4-3 still in favour of USA. Pressure on the serve from USA and miscommunication on the Japanese side forced Japan to take time ou at 11-5.
Erickson had a field day at the net, showing her hitting skills range to take USA to 14-6. USA’s serves were too strong too strong and unforced errors on the Japanese side saw USA win the second set 25-10 in spite of Ogata (#5) acing her serve.
Coach Hamiter made some more changes in the squad in the third set with Holloway (#5) making her first appearance in the tournament. Shifflett (#3) showed her extensive setting skills with great distribution at the net and USA were soon leading 8-3.
Japan tried very hard to regain the energy they had shown in the first set but this was halted by Burkland (#7) serving ace after ace, forcing Coach Mano to take a last chance time out at 18-4 in favour of USA. Some last minute save from Takei (#15) was not enough and USA took the last set 25-8 and the game 3 sets to 0.
USA v RUSSIA – 3-0 – (25-17; 25-10; 25-16)
Clash of the sitting volleyball titans with USA winning 3-0 against Russia
Neither team waited to get started in the game with both trying to establish their superiority on court but USA quickly started taking a 6-2 lead. Coach Ovsyannikov was not happy at 8-4 in favour of USA and tried to re-motivate his troops.
Mednikova (#3) tried to engage the team with a powerful back court hit at 10-5 still in favour of USA but this was not enough and USA quickly took off to a 14-9 lead. Russia somehow woke up and managed to creep back to 14-13 with some great serving from Okorokova (#7). Russia then levelled up at 15 all but clever tipping from Holloway (#5) took USA back in the lead to 16-15. Good blocking by Burkland (#7) saw USA move three points away. A substitution bringing in Arbatskaya (#8) did not help Russia and USA were soon three points away from the set. Mistakes at the net on the Russian side closed the first set 25-17 in favour of USA.
The second set started with USA slightly changing their line up and Arbatskaya (#8) remaining on court for Russia. Too many hitting and receiving errors on the Russian side saw USA take an early 7-3 USA with Williams (#11) at the serve.
Some miscommunication on the Russian side saw USA extend the lead to 11-6 then 16-7 in spite of some great rallies with Russia struggling to catch up on the score. USA were then 9 points ahead with some great hits from Holloway (#5). They continued adding up points to reach the end of the set 25-10.
Russia started the third set seemingly lacking conviction and were quickly left behind at 4-1. A few mistakes on the USA side saw Russia creep back up at 5 all. They even led shortly thanks to a great save from Smirnova (#13) but then again miscommunication between the Russian players saw the first time out go in favour of USA at 8-7.
Burkland (#7) was the player to go to and increased the lead 13-8 on the serve and even back court hitting, helped by her team mate Nieves (#16) front court. Strong hit from Holloway (#5) saw USA reach the second technical time out at 16-9. Tough serving followed by clever play took USA 10 points ahead at 19-9. Russia picked up some well needed points thanks to Kunstman (#9) serves to 20-13 still in favour of USA. Some technical issues slowed the game down at 21-14 for USA but this did not deflect their focus on the game and they soon closed the set 25-16 and the game 3-0 in 1hr.
JAPAN v UKRAINE – 0-3 (25-27 ; 18-25 ; 23-25)
Ukraine gets the better over Japan with a 3-0 win
Ukraine seemed to have a bit more energy than the previous day and matched Japan point for point at the start of the set. Japan took an early advantage at 6-2 with strong serves from Nishiie (#1). Lifting errors on the Ukrainian side saw Japan regain the serve and increase the lead at 8-3. Japan continued fighting for every single point to reach the second technical time out 16-10 with strong serving from Sumimoto (#3). Ukraine crept back in the score somehow re-energised by the time out to 17-15 still in favour of Japan. Both sides fought very hard with Japan’s youngest player Hata (#2) showing her skills at the net. In spite of this Ukraine came back level at 21 all. Japan asked for a time out at this crucial time in the match followed by Ukraine as neither team could seem to take over at 23-22 in favour of Japan. Lozko (#6) helped Ukraine reach match point but it was not to be for another rotation when Ukraine eventually finished the set 27-25.
Both teams started the 2nd set as they had finished the first one, scrambling for all the balls and serving hard – the score reflected that at 5 all. Ukraine took a short lead at 8-6 helped by unforced errors from Japan and extended it to 14-9 thanks to some great blocking from Manankova (#10). A double Japanese substitution was made by coach Mano at 18-11 to try and help stop Ukraine progress further. The teams scrambled to get points and Japan came back to the score at 23-17 still in favour of Ukraine. A few mistakes at the net by Japan gave Ukraine the last few points needed for a win at 25-18.
The teams had an unsteady start to the 3rd set with errors on both sides. Japan applied pressure on the serve and took a 7-2 lead. Podliesna (#8) took matter in her own hands and started a strong serie of serves taking Ukraine back to 7 all. She resumed her serving after the technical time out and took the team to a confortable 10-7 lead. A block out from Japan followed by strong serving from Ogata (#6) gave Japan little time to regroup at 11-9. Ukraine then took over again to reach the second technical time out at 16-9. They relaxed a bit and let Japan apply pressure on the serve to get to 18-13 still in Ukraine’s favour. Nishiie (#1) used her experience at the serve and managed to close the gap to 3 points at 20-17 for Ukraine. Strong hitting from Ogata (#6) combined with ongoing serve by Nishiie (#1) got both team at 20 all. Podliesna (#8) again got serving to take Ukraine to a 23-21 lead. It was only a matter of points before Ukraine sealed the set at 25-23 and the game 3-0