FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Japan improve to 4-0 mark in Pool A

Nozomi Ito was one of the offensive weapons of Japan in the victory over Argentina on Tuesday

Tijuana, Mexico, October 8, 2013 – Japan improved their win-loss record to 4-0 in Pool B with 10 points following a straight-set victory (25-19, 25-16, 25-19) over Argentina at Baja California High Performance Center on Tuesday afternoon.

It was a total team-effort for the winners who had Saori Takahashi and Sarina Koga as their main producers with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Haruyo Shimamura added 9 tallies while Nozomi Ito and Miku Benoki chipped in with 8 points apiece.

Virginia Granado and Tanya Acosta collected 12 and 10 points, respectively, as top scorers of Argentina.

Japan held an 11-4 advantage in the blocking charts and a slight 4-3 margin in aces. The winners made 9 unforced errors compared to 23 by the losers.

Spike by Haruyo Shimamura and Saori Takahashi broke a 6-6 tie in the first set sending Japan to an 8-6 lead. The Asian team increased the distance to 16-11 at the second stop and went on to win by a comfortable 25-19 margin. Sarina Koga had 5 points while Nozomi Ito and Miku Benoki each contributed 4 points.

A balanced attack capped by the block by Shimamura against Antonela Fortuna sent Japan to an 8-4 advantage in the second set. Spike by Virginia Granado and block by Antonela Curatola closed the gap to 9-7. A bomb fired by Tanya Acosta put Argentina within one-point distance but Japan reacted with a big rally combined with Argentinean errors for a 16-10 score. Japan took the second set 25-16 when Takahashi landed her spike.

In the third set, Argentina came out with extra energy to lead 8-5 at the first technical time-out. The South Americans expanded the margin to 11-7 behind Granado, Acosta and Bulgarella. Ito attacked and Shimamura blocked Zabala to reduce the difference to 14-11. Consecutive blocks by Takahashi against Curatola and Zabala tied at 15-all and Yurie Nabeya fired a kill impossible to stop for a 16-15 score in favor of Japan. When play resumed, Takahashi scored with spike and block for a three-point lead at 18-15. The third set finished at 25-19.

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