FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Bulgaria hand Japan first loss in 2013 World Grand Prix


Strashimira Filipova shows her power in Bulgaria's win over Japan on Friday

Sendai, Japan, August 16, 2013 – Bulgaria handed Japan their first defeat of the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix and they did it on Japan’s home turf, beating their hosts 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 31-29) at Sendai City Gymnasium on Friday. 

It was the first time the two had met in the World Grand Prix and the first time the Bulgarians had defeated Japan in any competition.

Japan now has a win-loss record of 6-1 staying on 17 points, while Bulgaria raised their record to 5-2 and 16 points, greatly improving their chances of reaching the Finals in Sapporo. Japan qualifies automatically for the Finals as hosts.

The host team had a young line-up of players who took to the court on Friday. And when Japan started out the match cold, coach Masayoshi Manabe called his players off court after an errant hit by Miyu Nagaoka took the score to 1-5. Another wayward strike saw Bulgaria move to an 8-2 advantage at the first technical timeout and that was to prove too big a mountain to climb for Japan, but only just. Manabe called his second timeout at 6-13 following a good block point and a kill by Emiliya Nikolova. The Bulgarian blocked Nagaoka on the next play and her team were eight points ahead at the second technical time out.

Bulgaria coach Marcello Abbondanza called a timeout when Japan reeled off three straight points to make the score 19-13 and did the same again when Japan closed to 21-17. As Japan found their feet, the Bulgarians got jittery and the gap narrowed to 21-19.  They earned four setpoints with a nice crosscourt kill by Elitsa Vasileva and they needed all of them as Japan nearly pulled off a remarkable escape following spikes by Yukiko Ebata and Saori Kimura and a block by Ebata. But Strashimira Filipova sent down a big hit to end the set at 25-23 and put her team 1-0 up.

Neither team played convincing volleyball at the start of the second set, but the Bulgarians still held their edge. They led 8-6 at the first technical time out before a couple of errors allowed Japan to level at 10-10. Three big points by Vasileva opened up a three-point gap, but a nice tipover by Ebata and two aces by Nana Iwasaka saw the teams level again.

Bulgaria were two up at the second  technical time out but a solid block by Kimura on Filipova saw Japan lead for the first time in the match at 17-16. Bulgaria got the jitters again and Japan were up by three points. But Aimi Kawashima served long before two good points by Dobriana Rabadzhieva drew the teams level at 20. Bulgaria got a big break at 21-21 when Rabadzhieva’s serve trickled over the net. Ebata then blew two kills wide and Bulgaria had three setpoints. Again, they needed them after spikes by Ebata and Kimura took the score to 24-23, but Nikolova sent a spike through the Japanese defence to put her team 2-0 up. 

Risa Shinnabe came up with four points in the first phase of the third set, and a big thump down the middle saw Japan 8-5 ahead at the first technical time out. Abbondanza called a timeout a point later, but Japan were not firing on all cylinders and allowed Bulgaria to level at 11-11. Manabe called a timeout at 12-14 to try and settle his players but his team dropped the next two points.

Rabadzhieva delivered some more power hits and after an ace by Lora Kitipova gave Bulgaria the lead at 22-21, Manabe called a timeout. Abbondanza did likewise when a block by Iwasaka saw Japan take a 23-22 lead. Akari Oumi then placed her next serve squarely into the net. Two huge blocks by Iwasaka brought Japan their first set point, but they could not convert as the two teams traded points to 29-29. A wide shot handed Bulgaria their fifth matchpoint with Rabadzhieva finally fending off Japan’s challenge to take the set and match at 31-29.

In Saturday’s pool M match, Japan’s next challengers will be current World Grand Prix title holders, the US while Bulgaria gets set to meet the Czech Republic.

2013 World Grand Prix Tournament page 
2013 World Grand Prix Live Scorebox 
2013 World Grand Prix Schedule 
FIVB World Rankings 
FIVB World Grand Prix Media Guide

Twitter - 
@FIVB Volleyball@FIVBGrandPrix 
Facebook: 
FIVB - International Volleyball Federation 
YouTube: 
FIVB Video



Download highresolution

 Language(s)
   English

| More

More press releases

   
20.09.2013 16:41:42
VolleyWorld reviews spectacular World Grand Prix
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 20, 2013 – The latest edition of VolleyWorld, which covers all the action of this year’s World Grand Prix – the FIVB’... More...
03.09.2013 17:35:47
A joyful homecoming for World Grand Prix title holders
Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 3, 2013 - Brazil’s victorious women’s team have returned home after a tiring 30 hour journey from Sapporo, Japan bringi... More...
02.09.2013 18:08:22
Lang Ping setting China on right path
Sapporo, Japan, September 2, 2013 – Finishing the 2013 FIVB World Grand Prix Finals with four wins and a loss in Sapporo, China won a silver medal at ... More...
02.09.2013 10:58:53
World Grand Prix FIVB Web TV highlights
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 2, 2013 - If you missed any of the superb FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals action last week, make sure you cat... More...
01.09.2013 16:04:13
It was a tough week but good experience: USA coach Karch Kiraly
Sapporo, Japan, September 1, 2013 – USA defeated Japan 3-2 (17-25, 25-19, 18-25, 25-17, 15-12) in the last match of the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals ... More...
01.09.2013 15:45:18
Brazil clinch ninth World Grand Prix title with perfect record
Sapporo, Japan, September 1, 2013 – London Olympic champions Brazil swept China 3-0 in a match between two previously unbeaten teams here Sunday after... More...
01.09.2013 14:50:17
USA defeat Japan 3-2 for first win in World Grand Prix Finals
Sapporo, Japan, September 1, 2013 – USA defeated Japan 3-2 (17-25, 25-19, 18-25, 25-17, 15-12) in the last match of the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals ... More...
01.09.2013 11:30:13
The World Grand Prix is very valuable for us: Ze Roberto
Sapporo, Japan, September 1, 2013 – Brazil clinched the gold medal in the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals for a record ninth time on Sunday, overcoming ... More...
01.09.2013 10:21:30
Brazil stay perfect to clinch gold in World Grand Prix Finals
Sapporo, Japan, September 1, 2013 – Brazil clinched the gold medal in the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals for a record ninth time on Sunday, overcoming ... More...
01.09.2013 09:08:32
We didn't play so well but I'm happy: Serbia coach
Sapporo, Japan, September 1, 2013 – Serbia clinched the bronze medal in the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals on Sunday after a tough 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 2... More...