Long Beach, USA, June 19, 2016 – Japan halted their FIVB World Grand Prix losing streak by defeating Germany 3-1 (25-27, 26-24, 25-15, 25-18) on Sunday afternoon in Long Beach, California, USA.
Japan used a balanced offense as Yurie Nabeya, Sarina Koga and Saori Sakoda all scored 14 points.
Lena Stigrot recorded 15 points for Germany and Louisa Lippman added 13 points.
Japan’s service netted an 9-5 ace advantage to offset Germany’s 16-5 block margin.
Japan had lost four straight matches after winning the opener against Serbia. The Asian side are now 2-4 in the tournament. Germany fall to 0-6 in the tournament and has not gone winless in the tournament since the 1995 World Grand Prix.
Japan started the opening set with a 3-0 advantage and Ishii served an ace after a Shimamura kill to increase the margin to 5-1. Poll sliced the German deficit in half at 5-3 with a kill. Hanke place Germany within one at 6-5 with a kill on second contact. Germany took the lead at 8-7 with a powerful attack from Poll. Japan answered with three straight points to grab a 10-8 advantage. Sakoda served an ace to extend Japan’s lead to 13-10. Germany came back to knot the score at 14-all on Stigrot block. Japan went up 17-15 on a German back-row violation, but the European side came back to tie it at 17-all on Poll kill. Germany took the lead back at 19-18 on a Japan four-contact violation. Trailing 20-18, Nabeya served an ace to tie the score at 20-all. Poll ended a long rally with a German block, reversing the lead to their side at 21-20. Germany put up another block at 22-20, but Japan’s Sakoda split the defense and a German error squared the set at 22-all. Lippmann gave Germany set point at 24-23 with a slam. Silge served an ace on Germany’s third set point for the win at 27-25.
Stigrot and Lippmann each had six points in the opening set.
Neither team was able to get more than a two-point cushion early in the second set as Germany went into the first technical timeout leading 8-7. Shimamura served an ace to reverse the lead to Japan at 11-10. A German attack error pushed the Japan margin to 13-11. Silge put up a block and Stigrot served an ace to switch the lead to Germany at 14-13. Germany reached the second technical timeout up 16-15. Lippmann hammered an attack off the fingers of Japan and put up a block to extend Germany’s lead to 20-17 as part of a 3-0 run. Sakoda served an ace to close Japan’s deficit to 21-20. Silge gave Germany two set point attempts at 24-22 with a big block, but saved two set points with a Koga kill and Germany setting error to level the score at 24-all. Japan took the lead back at 25-24 and Shimamura blocked the winner at 26-24.
Japan gained a three-point cushion in the third set with a Sakoda kill at 12-9 and the lead extended to 18-10 following two kills from Koga and an ace by Sakoda. The consecutive scoring run reached six as Tashiro put up a block at 17-10. Japan ended the set at 25-15 as Germany hit long. Shimamura had five points in the set to lead Japan.
Sakoda served an ace for Japan to rally it from a two-point deficit into a 5-all tie, then Japan went in front 7-5 as part of a 5-0 run. Japan extended their lead to 11-7 prompting a Germany timeout. Japan reached the second technical timeout leading 16-8. Sakoda stuffed Germany putting Japan in front 21-13. Japan eased into the final set victory at 25-18.