Tokyo, Japan, October 28, 2010 - Japan, coming off a stunning five-set comeback win against Poland on Friday, followed it up with a tough four-setter (25-15, 25-17, 22-25, 25-14) against Peru in Saturday's last Pool A match.
For the Japanese, it was their 16th victory in 19 matches against their South American opponents who, despite the noisy support of the Peruvian contingent in attendance, suffered their first defeat of this FIVB Women's World Championship. Leading the way for Japan once more was Saori Kimura with 23 points, while Jessenia Uceda and Patricia Soto registered 14 points for Peru.
There was a delay after the lights went out inside the Yoyogi Stadium, but when the action finally started Saori led her team out in front at 8-6. It was 16-9 to Japan after the Second Technical Timeout (STT) and they won the set comfortably from there with Yukiko Ebata driving home two spikes and Saori sealing it at 25-15.
FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2010 official page
Peru held a narrow lead early in the second set but Kaori Inoue's block tied the scores at 7-7. A long mid-set rally saw Japan's blockers – led by Inoue – repeatedly shut down Peru's attempts to spike, and Uceda was left slapping the floor in frustration after the point was lost. As Japan moved ahead, Yoshie Takeshita produced a spectacular dig setting up Ebata for a spike to make it 21-15. Saori then finished it off with a slap-down of a stray Peru pass as Japan took the set 25-17.
Peru put up a fight in the third with strong blocking, and Uceda finally broke through to make it 8-5. Cheol-Yong Kim’s charges held their lead until Japan came back to draw square at 14-14 on another Saori tip off a gorgeous set made by Takeshita as she was falling backwards. It stayed tight all the way, until Uceda and Yulissa Zamudio got through with some attacks, leading to Peru taking the set 25-22 on a misfired Japan spike.
Multiple attacks from Mai Yamaguchi and Ebata put Japan ahead in the fourth set at 9-5. A pair of jump serves by Saori both found their mark to stretch the hosts' lead to 14-7. Japan's captain, Erika Araki, then made her presence felt with three points at the end to help Masayoshi Abe's team wrap up their second victory in as many days.