London 2012

Press release

Gamova and Goncharova help Russia to stay perfect

Russia's Nataliya Gonchareva spikes through the Japanese blocking for one of her 26 points the victory

London, Great Britain, August 3, 2012 – Ekaterina Gamova and Nataliya Goncharova contributed 29 and 26 points respectively leading world champions Russia to a four-set win (27-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-19) over Japan in Pool A on Friday.

The victory enabled Russia to stay in first place of the group with a 4-0 win-loss record and the full 12 points. Japan dropped to a 2-2 mark and 6 points.

The Russians, who led 15-6 in blocks but trailed 10-5 in aces, also had veteran Evgenia Estes in double figures in the scores with 11 tallies.

Gamova finished with five blocks and Goncharova, Estes, Maria Perepelkina, Maria Borisenko and Ilulia Merkulova had two apiece.

Saori Sakoda and Saori Kimura each finished with 23 points for the defeated side.

Russia started the first set well with their block working effectively, but Yoshie Takeshita varied her team's attack with great effect to counter and Japan moved into a 19-14 lead. Saori Sakoda and Ekaterina Gamova traded blows in attack for much of the set with both players scoring nine points. With the scores level at 23-23, Russia pulled ahead and, after Japan had saved two set points, they eventually took the first set 27-25.
Nataliya Goncharova was strong in attack in the second set and controlled the tempo with Gamova, Russia winning it 25-17.
Sakoda did everything she could to keep Japan in the match in the third set and with help from Saori Kimura and continued excellence from Takeshita, Japan won the third set 25-20.
But Japan were not able to replicate their heroics in the fourth and Russia proved too powerful, taking the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.

Russia's next match is against Italy at Earls Court on Sunday 5 August, a fixture that is likely to decide who tops pool A. Japan play Great Britain.


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