June 2, 2023

Japan defeated the Czech Republic 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-12) in the second round of Pool D matches at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2022 in Arnhem on Monday.

It was Japan’s second straight-set win of the competition, and the Czech Republic’s second loss.

China and Colombia will play the second leg of their pool match on Tuesday at 14:00 local time (16:30 GMT), while Brazil and Argentina will engage in a neighborly South American clash later on Monday, starting at 18:30 local time (16:30 GMT). The game between Brazil and Argentina will be the second leg of their pool match (12:00). The top four teams in each of the four round-robin pools will move on to the next phase of the event, which will consist of additional pool play.

The outside hitter and team captain, Sarina Koga, led her colleagues to an impressive victory by scoring a game-high 20 points, which included three aces and two blocks. Her teammates also benefited from her leadership. Haruyo Shimamura, a middle blocker, demonstrated outstanding performance on offense, recording a total of 15 points (including two blocks) and boasting an amazing success percentage of 72% in attack. Outside Arisa Inoue finished the game with 15 points as well, including two points that she scored from the serving line.

In the first set, Japan’s serves generated four aces: one by opposite Mayu Ishikawa for 7-5, one by Koga for 11-6, one by setter Nanami Seki for 20-10, and one by Inoue for 22-12. The first set was won by Japan in a convincing fashion. Koga scored as much as seven points during the set, including the point that won it for his team 25-15.

The second set got underway with an ace served up by the Czech Republic’s outside hitter and captain, Andrea Kossanyiova. The Czech Republic then proceeded to extend their advantage to 5-1 before Japan began working on their comeback. Following a kill by Inoue, which brought the score to 9-9, the Asian team regained control of the set and went on to win it. Koga added nine more points, one of which was an ace, to bring the score to 19-13. Eventually, outside Kotona Hayashi spiked the ball effectively to put an end to the match at 25-20.

On their path to a 3-0 victory in the match, Japan did not encounter any obstacles in the third set. They were able to reestablish their dominance in a short amount of time and run up a gap of 7-3, which forced their competitors to call their first timeout of the set. With Shimamura on fire at the net, the Japanese were able to keep pace all the way to 16-12. They then went on an incredible nine-point run, which was capped off by Inoue’s kill for the final score of 25-12.

Shimamura commented after the game, “We had a lot of players in and out today, so it was sort of hard to adjust to who was playing on the court,” which indicates that the team had a large amount of player turnover. “I just kept reminding myself to play the way I typically do when I’m practicing, which is in a good way,” she said.

In addition, three matches from Pool C will take place in Arnhem on Monday: Germany will play Kazakhstan at 15:30 local time (13:30 GMT), Serbia will play Bulgaria at 16:00 (14:00), and the United States of America will play Canada at 21:00 (19:00). There will also be a match from Pool A between Italy and Puerto Rico at 18:00 local time (18:00 GMT) (16:00).

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