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FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2006
Match Description
Japan's 'white whirlwind' blows away Ticas

Araki of Japan spikes
Tokyo, November 1, 2006: Japan bounced back from their surprise defeat by Chinese Taipei on opening night to overwhelm World Championship rookies Costa Rica 3-0 on Wednesday.
 The world No. 7 came home 25-9, 25-11, 25-14 to record their first victory of Pool A, while dropping the 33rd-ranked Ticas to 0-2.
 There were some early signs that Japan's luck was about to change this night.
 On the very first point, a spike from Miyuki Takahashi on the left struck the net cord and rolled along the top of the net  before dropping into the Costa Rica court on the opposite flank. Shortly after, the Costa Rica back court allowed a serve from Erika Araki to continue on its way, but it dropped in to give Japan another early boost.
 Takahashi had had a quiet night by her own high standards against Chinese Taipei, but she looked to be back to her sparkling best as Japan romped to the first TTO 8-3.
 A block by Karen Cope on Saori Kimura gave the Central Americans heart, but Costa Rica could not get their attack moving and called a TO when trailing 14-7.
 A Kimura cracker took Japan to the second TTO ahead by nine, and Costa Rica's frustration was highlighted when Paola Ramirez thought she had scored with a powerful drive at the net, only for the ball to come back and Japan win the point.
 With Takahashi flying down the middle off the sets of Yoshie Takeshita, Japan closed out the set 25-9.
 Costa Rica called a TO in the second set after falling behind 5-1, and Takahashi took Japan to the first TTO at 8-2 with a bullet jump serve followed by a serve which smashed into the net cord and bobbled over.
 The Takahashi onslaught continued after the break, and at 11-2 the Ticas took shelter from the storm with another TO to try and knock the Japanese ace out of her serving stride.
 Ramirez eventually found a way through, but the Costa Ricans had caught Japan on a bad night -- fired up and determined to prevent another upset.
 Japan's defence was easily able to read the Costa Rica moves, and libero Kaoru Sugayama had the crowd gasping with an incredible dig at full stretch.
 Japan led 16-5 at the second TTO and Araki and Makiko Horai maintained the pressure at the net. The Costa Ricans briefly caught their breath, and Onika Pinnock and Verania Willis both scored with neat spikes to keep Japan on their toes. An athletic leap and left-handed spike from Takeshita finished the second set 25-11.
 The Ticas would have been grateful for the 10-minute entertainment break between the second and third sets, and knew that, with the pressure off, they could try and learn as much as possible from this Japanese lesson in high-speed, combination volleyball.
 It was going to be a painful lesson, though, as Japan jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the third set. Takeshita had an array of options for her sets, as Japan's white whirlwind ripped through the Central American side. The Ticas, inexperienced at such a high level of international volleyball, could not live with the pace and slick movement of the host team.
 Under relentless pressure, Costa Rica made too many unforced errors, especially on serve, and Japan finished the job 25-14.