Short characterisation JPN
STARTING PLAYERS AND SUBSTITUTES
Japan as the host of the WCh fielded a physically small (average 194 cm) and very inexperienced team (on average 20 international matches) directed by player 8 Ogina (171 international matches) as captain. With their emotional and committed manner, with strengths in defence (best team) they won the expert audience’s great sympathy and recognition. As a consequence of deficits in the skills (attack, serve and block), which had an essential influence on the result, they won only 5 matches and suffered 6 defeats, and were finally placed 8th behind Russia.
With a big portion of float and jump float serves (appr. 50 %), as well as jump serves (partly powerful and with spin) the team was not able to achieve the necessary effect and efficiency, as the leading nations did.
Regardless of the kind of serve, passing was done only in 3-player formation. Libero player 15 Tsumagari organised the reception formations brilliantly, and he was able to put himself well into the limelight by his outstanding agility and speed (ranking: place 9).
The inexperienced setter player 18 Tomonage (2 international matches), who is technically skilled, flexible and quickly in the place of action, was convincing by precise and often long sets. The distribution of the balls and the organisation of the game were transparent and limited to basic combinations
Other than in the typical distribution of tasks in rotation 1 (reception and conclusion of attack), player 7 Yamamoto (opposite player) is standing at the right and attacks via position 2. Player 8 Ogino, standing at position 2 in the reception formation, is running across the whole court in order to attack at position 4. Short jump float serves to Ogino often destroyed their options of attack.
Japan focussed on basic combinations to finish attacks; back court attack 6 happened only sporadically.
Because of their small body height they try to attenuate the opponent’s attacks by passive blocking techniques. On excellent passing by the opponent, the blockers at the middle of the net mostly jumped, too, so that they could not join the group block in case of balls to the outside positions.
By good positional play in defence, combined with brilliant technique and high physical commitment they won the title of best defending team. In attacking transition, they utilized increasingly the potential of the outside attackers as well as the strengths of player 7 Yamamoto via back court position 1.