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World Grand Prix 2005 - Match Descriptive

Match Descriptive

Japan beat Poland 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-17) - duration 1:20
24-Jun, start time: 18:00, end time: 19:20 - Attendance: 9'200
City: Tokyo; Hall : Yoyogi
Speedy Japan romp past Poland
Tokyo, Japan, June 24, 2005 -- Japan, fast and full of ideas, ran rings round Poland with a straight-sets victory in Tokyo on Friday evening.
Japan won 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-17) in 67 minutes to put them in good heart for the Saturday night showdown with Korea.
Japan overcame their height disadvantage with their movement, speed and agility, and four players recorded double-digit points hauls.
In front of a large and noisy home crowd, though, Japan began tentatively.
Even Athens Olympics veterans Sachiko Sugiyama and Miyuki Takahashi showed their nerves, sending serves crashing into the net.
But Poland were far from settled, too, and a series of indecisive plays at the net gave Japan heart.
Poland found success on the left side of attack, through Milena Rosner and Joanna Mirek, but Japan built up their defence quickly to block this threat.
Another of Japan's Athens Olympians, Ai Otomo, was proving to be an inspiration, as was the dynamo Takahashi, as the home team took the first set 25-16.
Japan made a flying start to the second set, with Makiko Horai prominent on the right with her spiking and blocking, and Poland looked lost as Japan romped into an 11-2 lead.
Then Chie Yoshizawa took over the attack on the left, reading the blocker like a book and enabling Japan to reach the second technical time-out in control at 16-4.
Behind every flowing Japanese move was the setter and new captain, Yoshie Takeshita, who controlled the team with her customary expertise.
Japan took the second set 25-11, leaving the Poles to regroup in the extended 10-minute break.
Poland's setter, Izabela Belcik, began to click with her attack in the third set.
The Europeans led 8-6 and 16-15 at the technical time-outs, but Japan came back and, from 18-17, won the last seven points behind the serving of Kaoru Sugayama to finish the match.