FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Japan team stay unbeaten with win against Kazakhstan


Yukiko Ebata pushed Japan to victory with 28 points

Plock, Poland, August 10, 2013 - Japan came back from a set behind to pick up a 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-20) win against Kazakhstan and maintain their unbeaten record in the 2013 World Grand Prix. 

Masayoshi Manabe's team started with an ace from Yuki Ishii, but Kazakhstan responded well, with Tatyana Mudritskaya's powerful right-wing attacks putting them into an early 8-4 lead. 

As in their previous pool H match against Germany, where they lost the first two sets, Japan couldn't find their own rhythm while Mudritskaya kept the pressure on with strong spikes and good defence to maintain Kazakhstan's lead.

Japan first managed to level the set at 13-13 and keep it close towards the end, but at 22-22 Oleksandr Gutor's Kazakhstan team kept a cooler head to win 25-23 on a powerful Lyudmila Anarbayeva attack, and take a 1-0 lead.

Japan went on to the court for the second set with much more concentration and took a quick 8-1 advantage with some strong spiking. Kazakhstan responded to get to 16-11 behind Japan, but couldn't overtake them and lost the set 25-19.

Japan were more consistent at the start of the third set, and their early lead owed much to the prominence of Yukiko Ebata, who hadn't played in the previous day's match against Germany.

Again Kazakhstan tried to get back into the set and the match with Mudritskaya spiking well, but it was not enough and Japan took the set 25-18 for a 2-1 lead.

Ebata continued her good play for Japan in the fourth set, eventually taking her tally to 28 points as the match's top scorer. Japan held a small advantage throughout the set and even though Kazakhstan survived match balls at 24-19 and 24-20, Japan eventually took the set 20-25.

The 3-1 maintained Japan's unbeaten start to the 2013 World Grand Prix and equalled their second best winning streak of five matches in the tournament, that they achieved in 2010.

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