MATCH INFO

Japan shoot through after epic comeback


Japan head coach Ichiro Hanzawa saw his team making an outstanding comeback, overpowering Germany in a top class five-setter

Ankara, Turkey, August 13, 2011 – Japan improved to 2-0 with a five-set (17-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-18, 15-12) victory over Germany on the second day of Pool D play at the FIVB Girl’s Youth World Championship at Ankara Sports Arena on Saturday evening. Trailing 0-2, Japan showed great team spirit to bounce back bravely.

Japan, led by setter Kaho Maruta, again displayed good organization and teamwork, and Sakura Doi led their scoring with 20 points. German captain Jennifer Geerties finished as the 17-point leading scorer for Germany (1-1) but her team committed 38 errors compared with 33 by their opponents. 

FIVB Volleyball Girls' Youth World Championship

Jens Tiethböhl’s team made a bright start to the opening set, taking an 8-3 lead at the first technical timeout. Japan responded with some spectacular defense actions, but their opponents kept pushing and extended the advantage to 21-15. Germany played excellent at the net (12 attack points and 6 block kills in the first set). Leonie Schwertmann finished off the set with a service winner 25-17.

The beginning of the second set was close all the way. Japan led by one point at the first technical timeout, Germany took over at 13-12. German Lisa Izquierdo served for a two-point gap at 15-13, and Magdalena Gryka moved the scoreboard forward to 16-13 at the second technical timeout. Dominating offensive play and making several excellent saves, Germany won the second set 25-20. 

The Japanese played cerebrally at times, scoring on several quick attacks, but they were not able to do it consistently. With Germany 16-15 up in the final set, the Japanese hopes for victory vanished into thin air. Still, Japan bounced back bravely with three points in a row to turn around the score at 22-19. The set ended on a successful spike of Japan’s Sakura Doi as the Asians finished off the set 25-23. 

Japan continued their run in the fourth set. As an excellent example of team spirit and determination, the Japanese sailed to a well-deserved 25-18 set win, thus giving the young rising stars of head coach Ichiro Hanzawa the chance to fight for victory in the deciding set. 

The Asians jumped out for a 3-0 lead in the fifth set, before the German girls answered with a four-point run to make it 4-3 in their favor. German captain Jennifer Geerties added four points from the left to give her teammates a two-point lead at side change.  Japanese outside hitter Yui Asahi didn’t give up, hammering two missiles through the German block to level the match at 8-8. There was nothing to separate the two teams at this stage of the game. Horie served two service winners to move the scoreboard forward for Japan. Asahi brought up match point at 14-12, and Nozomi Ito closed the match out with a blistering winner through the middle. 



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