FIVB Women's World Olympic Qualification Tournament 2012 | Japan

Press release

Straight-set wins rules opening day of Women's Olympic Qualifier

Hosts Japan had a good start with a convincing straight set victory over Peru on Saturday night

Tokyo, Japan, May 19, 2012 - Serbia, Russia, Korea and hosts Japan claimed straight set victories on the opening day of the FIVB Women’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Saturday.

The eight-team round-robin competition offers the last four women's volleyball tickets to the 2012 London Olympic Games, to the top-three finishers and one for the highest ranked Asian team as the event doubles as Asian Continental Olympic Qualifier.

European champions Serbia began the day with a 25-19, 25-15, 25-16 win over Chinese Taipei followed by a strong performance by world champions Russia in their 25-19, 25-18, 25-16 triumph over Thailand. Korea collected a 25-19, 25-23, 25-20 win against Cuba while Japan capped the day blanking Peru 25-13, 25-21, 25-18.

"The first day is always tough for everybody. We didn't play so well, but we did win,” Serbia coach Zoran Terzic said. “We can't be satisfied, however. We will have to play much better against teams like Russia and Korea if we hope to advance from here."

"I'm glad our players followed the plan for this game,” Russia coach Sergey Ovchinnikov said. “This is why we won. We didn't relax during the match and kept our focus."

"We were very happy to beat such a world power like Cuba," Korea coach Kim Hyung-Sil said. “Four years ago we lost and didn't want it to happen again. We won today because we were mentally strong. We will continue to fight for the ticket to the Olympic Games.”

"This being the first game, I was a little worried at the beginning," Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe said. “The fact that we were able to win 3-0 made me very relieved.”

In Sunday’s action, Serbia meet Thailand, Peru take on Cuba, Russia face off against Korea and Japan play Chinese Taipei.

Serbia v Chinese Taipei
Serbia held a huge 18-3 advantage in blocks and also led 5-1 in serving aces in their victory over Chinese Taipei. The winners committed 14 errors to 20 by the defeated side.
Milena Rasic paced Serbia with 18 points including five blocks in the victory. Teammate Jovana Vesovic added 12 while Jovana Brakocevic and Sanja Starovic each contributed eight tallies. Chen Wang Ting and Wang Sin Ting led Chinese Taipei with nine points apiece.

Russia v Thailand
World champions Russia dominated the game at the net with a 13-2 margin in blocks and edged 3-2 in aces in the victory over Thailand. Both teams made 15 errors but Russia held a 44-34 advantage in attacks.
Nataliya Goncharova sparked Russia with a match-high 14 points. Ekaterina Gamova and Maria Perepelkina each contributed 12 points while Maria Borisenko and Evgenia Estes added 10 apiece to the balanced offense.  Malika Kanthong and Wilavan Apinyapong had 10 each for Thailand in the loss.

Korea v Cuba
Superstar Kim Yeon-Koung and Hwang Youn-Joo each powered 16 points to lead the victory of Korea over Cuba. Yanelis Santos led Cuba with 10 points, including four aces, while Rosanna Giel added eight in the loss.
Korea used strong defense and good combination play to notch the triumph. On the other hand, Cuba was hurt by a high number of unforced errors. Both teams scored with six blocks and Cuba had the advantage 9-5 in aces but made 22 errors compared to 15 by the winners.

Japan v Peru
Japan, ranked third in the world, was backed by a raucous partisan crowd on the way to victory over Peru. Yukiko Ebata and Saori Kimura spearheaded the Japan attack with 11 points apiece and Mai Yamaguchi chipped in with 10. Carla Rueda led Peru with 11 points while Diana Soto added nine for the defeated side.
The home side established a huge difference in blocks (10-4) with three apiece by Kimura, Erika Araki and Nana Iswaka. They also held a slight 3-1 margin in aces. Peru gave away 25 points in errors while Japan only made 14 for the whole match.

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