Japan prevail against Mexico in four sets
Tijuana, Mexico, October 5, 2013 – Japan scored a 3-1 (25-19,
25-13, 20-25, 25-15) victory over Mexico to cap the first day of
action in Pool A of the FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship at
Baja California High Performance Center on Saturday.
The Japanese played excellent defence throughout the match and
committed 16 unforced errors to 24 by the defeated side. Both
teams finished with 6 aces and Mexico held a 10-7 advantage in
the blocking department.
Saori Takahashi and Yurie Nabeya each finished with 16 points to
top the winning side while Suzuka Hashimoto and Haruyo Shimamura
chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Mexico’s Andrea Rangel had a match-high 21 points followed by
Alejandra Isiordia who concluded with 14 tallies.
Mexico led 8-7 at the first stop following some exciting
rallies. The home side maintained the slight margin at the
second technical time-out with Isiordia producing some sparkling
spikes much to the joy of the local crowd. Saori Takahashi tied
the scores at 18-all and gave Japan a one-point lead at 19-18.
Mexican setter Alejandra Perales scored with a disguise play but
Nozomu Ito gave back the lead to Japan hitting off the block.
After two spectacular saves by libero Miku Torigoe, Hashimoto
scored a couple for a four-point lead at 23-19. The same
Hashimoto scored with a dink and Ito blocked Claudia Rios for
the 25-19 score.
The second set saw Japan taking an 8-6 lead playing excellent
field defence. The Asian team expanded the gap to 13-9 with
Takahashi providing the firepower with her big shots and Ito
scoring with one ace. Japan was sitting on a comfortable 16-9
lead at the second technical time-out. When play resumed, the
Japanese slowed down a little for a moment but recovered almost
immediately while the Mexican side could keep the pace and
intensity of their opponents. Japan took the set 25-13.
Mexico jumped to an 8-4 lead in the third set. Japan tied at
14-all but Gema Leon responded with one spike followed by one
service winner for a two-point difference at the second
technical time-out. When the action resumed Leon scored another
ace followed by an opponent error for a 18-14 difference. The
home team took the third set 25-20 when Andrea Rangel landed a
big cross-court shot.
Japan returned to the fast track in the fourth set with
consecutive spikes by Suzuka Hashimoto, Takahashi and Haruyo
Shimamura en route to an 8-6 difference. They increased the gap
to 16-9 and silenced the home crowd. The actions finished when
Sarina Koga scored twice around a block by Takahashi for a 25-15