FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Japan defeat Thailand in straight sets


Japan's Yukiko Ebata top scored in the match with 20 points

Ankara, Turkey, August 2, 2013 – World Grand Prix Finals hosts Japan pulled off a convincing 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-21) win over Thailand in the second match of the first week in Pool C of the 2013 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix.

Having won three out of the previous five World Grand Prix encounters against Thailand, Japan started the match as favourites especially since their side included many of the stars which led them to Olympic bronze last year.

New captain Saori Kimura recorded 16 points but it was 23-year-old Yukiko Ebata who top scored for Japan with 20. For Thailand, it was the World Grand Prix Finals 2012 second best scorer Onuma Sittirak who was again their most impressive with 12 points.

Thailand, who recorded their best ever finish in the World Grand Prix of fourth last year, took the lead in the first seat and was 8-7 ahead at the first Technical Time-Out. After the TTO, however, Japan gained the advantage by making the score 15-12, and with one more point they were 16-12 ahead at the second technical time out. At 20-13, Japan raised their advantage to win the first set. With the spikes of Ebata, they won the first set 25-19.

The second set started with Japan getting an advantage at 8-4. Japan went to the second Technical Time-Out 16-12 ahead with their good attacks. Japan extended their advantage by pushing the score to 20-14. Japan was more concentrated on the game in these times and made fewer mistakes than their opponent, leading them to win the second set 25-17.

Thailand was on the lucky side to have a good start to the third set of the match and got 5-2 ahead in the beginning. They maintained their lead to the first technical time-out and Thailand was 8-5 ahead. However, Japan didn’t give up the game. At 12-12 they tied the score and they went 14-12 over Thailand. Later, Japan went to the second TTO 16-14 ahead thanks to Ebata’s spikes. After the time-out, Thailand once again tied the score at 18-18 and they went 20-18 ahead. But it wasn’t enough for Thailand, as Japan levelled the score for the third time at 20-20 and won the third and last set 25-21, securing the match in straight sets.

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