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FIVB Women's World Championship Japan 2006
 
Match Description
 
Japanese refuse to bow to African Queens
 

Maiyo (right) of Kenya against Takahashi and Araki (JPN)
Tokyo, November 3, 2006: World No. 7 Japan won their second consecutive match in Pool A, downing 11th-ranked Kenya 3-0 on Friday evening.

With the straight-sets victory, by 25-15, 25-17, 25-10, the home team improved their win-loss record to 2-1 and dropped Kenya's African Queens to 0-3.
Miyuki Takahashi scored the first two points of the match before Leonidas Kamende pounced at the net for Kenya. Japan, however, countered at the net with spikes for Makiko Horai and Erika Araki as the home team looked to dominate through the middle and out wide.

With the Kenyan blockers covering all the options, setter Yoshie Takeshita decided to finish off a move herself, and, with a swift movement of her right arm, spiked Japan to the first TTO 8-5.

The Kenyan block clicked into gear, and Japan needed a TO when their lead was cut to two at 12-10. Captain Dorcas Ndasaba and Lydiah Maiyo can pierce any defence, and Japan knew they would be in for a hard game. Jacky Barasa underlined this with a swift kill at the net, but Japan regrouped to lead 16-12 at the second TTO.
A spectacular block by Shuka Oyama prompted a Kenya TO one point later, and the relentless pace of the Japanese attack was beginning to wear down the Africans.
A brilliant running spike from Araki after an overhead set from Takeshita carried Japan forward, and the home team closed out the first set 25-15.

Doris Palang'a and Barasa gave Japan some uncomfortable moments early in the second, but could not prevent the home team from leading by three at the first TTO. Oyama was blocking well, but was finding it difficult to penetrate the Kenyan defence, and Japan called a TO when falling behind 9-8.

Ndasaba is an inspiring captain, and her defensive work and spiking enabled Kenya to stay out in front, 16-14, at the second TTO.

Oyama was beginning to find her range, though, and every point she scored was greeted with a chant of "Wang Jiao" by the home fans, referring to her Chinese name before she turned Japanese. Kimura began to flex her attacking muscles, too, and Araki got to work on the block, forcing a Kenya TO when down 18-17.

Kenya lost their way down the stretch as Japan moved ahead 22-17, and Kenya's Japanese head coach Sadatoshi Sugawara took his team off again for a final team talk. Two soaring Oyama spikes down the middle swept Japan to set point at 24-17, and confusion in the Kenyan defence on Takeshita's gentle serve did the rest, 25-17.
Middle blocker Sachiko Sugiyama joined the action in the third set, and her high-speed net play helped Japan to jump out to a 5-0 lead and 8-2 at the first TTO.
A Kamende block on Araki offered the Kenyans hope, but a well-drilled Japanese move with Araki as the decoy and Kimura the killer had the stadium shaking with the thunder of 10,000 stick balloons. Leading 16-7 at the second TTO, Japan were almost home and dry.

The irrepressible Takahashi scattered the Kenyans around the court, and an Araki serve crept through as the Kenyans wilted. Sugiyama took Japan closer with a flashing angled winner at the net, Oyama brought up match point at 24-9 and Sugiyama finished it 25-10 when her spike was blocked out.