Japan sweeps Russia in Pool L of the FIVB World Grand Prix - Volleyball

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Japan sweeps Russia in Pool L of the FIVB World Grand Prix - Volleyball
Japan and Russia competed against each other in Pool L match of the FIVB World Grand Prix in Tokyo, Japan, at the Ariake Colosseum. The two teams were playing their last match of the preliminary round of the tournament. At the end of the match, it was the
home team that was celebrating a clean sweep over their Russian counterparts.
The first set of the match was tough as neither side was letting up on the attack and giving the other team a hard time to make a win. However, the team that finally got their hands on victory was Japan. The first set win set the pace for the Japanese who
started the second set with spirit and determination. Despite the repeated efforts of the Russians to swing the match in their favour, the Japanese prevailed in bagging another win. Playing the third set with a deficit of two did not work to improve the performance
of the Russians who kept on trailing behind as the Japanese secured the match at the following final set scores: 25-23, 25-19 and 25-19.
The coach of the Japanese team, Masayoshi Manabe, shared his views by giving the following statements: “If we'd lost today we wouldn't have been able to make it to the Final Round, so we were able to concentrate on this game and I think that's why we were
able to win the game.”
On the other hand, the Russian coach, Vladimir Kuzyutkin, expressed himself in these words at the press conference after the match had reached its close: “At present, we are trying to use other members so it might be a difficult time for us, but that will
pass. Also, we are without three top players, so we are not going to panic even though we lost. We are also trying to change our style of playing. In this situation it is hard to perform well, but as we're in transition, we are not going to worry.”
The Japanese were leading the first set of the game at 12-8 when the Russian coach called for a time out but it was to no avail as the Japanese were able to extend their advantage to 22-14. The Russians closed in the gap at 24-23 but the Japanese prevailed
in sealing the deal on the opening set at 25-23.
The Japanese got the lead as the first technical time-out was reached in the second set and did not let go of the advantage till they had bagged the set at 25-19. The third set followed the same course as the previous one and it was only a matter of time
for the Japanese to grab a win at 25-19.
Both the Russian Ekaterina Gamova and the Japanese Saori Kimura got to be the top scorers of the match as each of them posted 14 points each for their team.



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