Short characterization JPN
STARTING PLAYERS AD SUBTITUTES
JPN was the team with the smallest body height (average 176 cm); their average age was about 25 years (19.5 – 28.6 years). Although some good players were missing due to injuries, the host of the World Championships was competitive with other teams in a lot of matches (e. g. JPN-SCG 3:2, JPN-NED 3:1). After the unexpected defeat against Taiwan in the preliminaries, their 6th place is a remarkable result, even if a good draw and the home game advantage surely have been “helpful” to JPN.
Their defence, based on both extraordinary readiness to defend and defending technique (very flexible situative adaptation), was excellent (team ranking: place 1). The attacking coverage is a special „weapon“ of the Japanese enabling a lot of long successful rallies.
The efficient defence and the good reception performances as well (good passing technique – maybe not as precise as during the Golden age of Japan’s women’s volleyball) constituted the basis of quick, variable combination attacks both from passing and from defence. Varying attack actions (touch out, wipe-off excellent) were utilized to score points.
JPN is also the best team in the ranking of best setters. The first setter (player No. 3 Takeshita) is currently one of the world’s best setters, and she was awarded the distinction as best setter and MVP of the 2006 World Championships. Linked with good spatial orientation her set excels with a very quick, dynamic style.
Blocking was better than it used to be, but blocking is still their weakness. Some tactical adaptation such as switch block (setter blocks at left front or middle), drop block (setter does not block against their high ball attack) etc. to compensate their height is used.