FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Japan hand another five-set loss to Italy


Japan increased to a 2-0 record after the victory in five sets over Italy on Sunday

Tijuana, Mexico, October 6, 2013 –Japan came back from two sets down to hand Italy a painful five-set loss for second day in a row in Pool A of the FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship.  The final score 21-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-16, 15-12.

Japan improved its win-loss record to 2-0 (5 points) and Italy dropped to 0-2 (2 points). The Italians had lost to Turkey in five sets on Saturday also after leading 2-0.

Sarina Koga led three Japanese players with double figures in the score charts with 21 points. She was followed by Asuka Nomura and Saori Takahashi who each registered 18 points.

Italy’s Valentina Diouf recorded a tournament-high 31 points in the losing cause, while Laura Partenio and Raphaela Folie finished with 19 and 18 points, respectively.

Italy held the advantage in blocks (20-15) and in serves (6-5). Japan totaled 16 unforced errors compared to 19 by Italy. Foglie and Diouf had 7 and 5 blocks for Italy, while Takahashi and Haruyo Shimamura recorded 5 and 4.

Italy took an 8-6 lead with two blocks by Raphaela Folie and expanded it to 12-9 with spike and ace by Valentina Diouf en route to a 16-13 score at the second stop. Japan cut the distance to 16-15 with the spikes of Suzuka Hashimoto and Fumika Moriya but Italy came back with one ace by Laura Partenio and the block by Alessia Gennari against Yurie Nabeya. At 22-20, Takahashi served one ace but Folie answered back for 23-21. Italy took the first set 25-21 when Partenio scored with her spike and then blocked Sarina Koga.

Partenio had four spikes and one block as Italy took an 8-6 lead in the second set. Diouf increased the margin to 11-6 with three spikes and her block against Takahashi and Italy was way in front 16-10 with consistent blocking.  Two Italian errors combined with the spikes of Shimamura and Koga for an 18-15 score but the European team reacted behind a couple of blocks by Folie to win 25-18.

Diouf broke a tie at 7-all with a laser shot that landed in the centre of the Japanese side for an 8-7 advantage. A rally sparked by Takahashi put Japan in front 12-10. Japan led 16-14 at the second technical time-out. Italy closed within one point at 22-21 after the ace by Chirichella but Takahashi was positive with her attack and Nabeya served one ace for 24-21 and Japan claimed the third set 25-21 with the spike by Koga.

Japan jumped into an 8-3 lead behind three powerful spikes by Asuka Nomura. The Asian team improved to 16-10 with Sarina Koga producing excellent attacks. The set continued on the same direction with Japan winning 25-16 following two blocks by Shimamura against Partenio.

In the tie-breaker, Italy equalized at 5-5 with the spike by Diouf but Moriya gave back the lead to Japan. Then Moriya blocked Partenio for a two-point difference and Nomura landed a parallel shot for the 8-5 score in favor of the Asians. Italy called for time-out following another shot by Nomura. Leading 12-9, Japan called for time-out following a pair of unforced errors. Italy closed in 14-12 behind the blocks by Diouf and Folie but Takahashi closed at 15-12 with the victory for Japan.

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