FIVB - Women's Volleyball World Cup 2011

MATCH INFO

Japan's tiny Takeshita rises above in stunning win against Brazil


Japan's setter Yoshie Takeshita put up a set-saving block in the first, setting the tone for the rest of the match

Sapporo, Japan, November 13, 2011 - Even though they were coming off a win against Asian rival Korea, Japan’s chances didn’t look good as they faced pre-tournament favorite Brazil. History was not in their favor as Brazil had won 45 of 56 matches against Japan and 23 of the last 24. But diminutive setter Yoshie Takeshita threw history out the window with a stunning block that swung first set momentum in the home team’s favoor, as Japan took a thrilling match in three sets (26-24, 25-19, 25-23).

Leading the Japanese side in scoring was their dynamic duo of Saori Kimura and Yukiko Ebata, with 20 and 18 points respectively. For Brazil, Sheilla Castro put up 13 in a losing effort.

Japan’s Yukiko Ebata, the high scorer against Korea on Saturday, came out firing early against the Olympic champs, pitching in a spike and an ace to extend to a three-point lead at the first TTO. But Brazil’s Paula would draw even with an ace of her own, and good attacking from Castro and Marianne Steinbrecher (Mari) mid-set kept it that way until late. Saori was attacking well in the set, and Ebata kept going with a spike and a block to edge out 20-18. Paula all but single-handedly brought Brazil back with four of Brazil’s next five points, eventually leading her side to a set point. But the tiny Yoshie Takeshita rose above everyone up front with a miraculous set-saving block, and two points from Saori (of her nine in the set) clinched it for Japan 26-24 after that, thrilling the home crowd.

In the second set Saori gave her side a slight edge with a pin-point spike that found the corner, but a Brazil responded with five unanswered points to make it 9-6 in their favour. Blocking would be the story in this set as an incredible stuff by Erika Araki on Thaisa Menezes helped Japan rebound to tie at 13-13, and she’d later put another on Paula Pequeno - as did Mizuho Ishida - to go ahead 18-16. Ebata delivered two of her five in the set late, on a spectacular tip that left Brazil in a helpless campfire pose. After a Saori spike struck paint at the back to give set point, an Ishida ace closed it 25-19; Japan two sets up.

Ebata and Saori put the team on their backs in the third set, scoring on nine of the team’s 11 attacks to go up 15-11. They added to that cushion late as another Ebata rocket brought the crowd to a frenzy of anticipation at 20-15. A critical block by Araki on Paula made it 22-18, and she followed with a spike to come within two points of taking the match. Brazil fought back with great play from Paula, but Saori put two nails in the coffin at the end with spikes to clinch 25-23, taking the match in three sets. Saori and Ebata had seven and six points in the set respectively.

Women’s World Cup Results/Standings, Match Info, Photos or Live Scoring


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