Ankara, Turkey, August 13, 2015 – Titleholder China overpowered Japan in a sensational All-Asian duel 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 25-22, 27-25) on Thursday evening. It was the best match so far at the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U23 World Championship in Ankara, Turkey.
Meili Song and Fang Duan led China with 15 points each. Best scorer for Japan was Nanaka Sakamoto with 13 kills, including one ace and one block winner. China made the difference with better blocking (14-7).
Japan experienced the better start into Thursday’s all-Asian duel of Pool B. The young ladies from the land of the rising sun led 18-13 before China bounced back bravely to tie the score at 20-20 in the first set. Led by outstanding Misaki Yamauchi (six points) and Mizuki Tanaka (six as well), the Japanese remained calm with Nanaka Sakamoto hammering the Mikasa down at 25-23 to take a hard-earned 1-0 set lead.
China regained control in the second period. Their offense started to work like Swiss clockwork, giving the Chinese side a comfortable 16-11 at the second technical timeout. Japan played some quick combinations but couldn’t come back. Meili Song ended it for China at 25-16. China had improved their offense from 23% to 62% in the second set.
The Chinese kept the upper hand in the third and fourth set as well. A better blocking game of China was the main difference between the two teams in the crucial moments of the match. Even though the Japanese were very close twice (25-22, 27-25), it was not good enough for a comeback. Jiujing Xu closed out the spectacular match on China’s third match ball.