Jaja Santiago and the Ageo Medics bow to JT Marvelous in straight sets to open their Japanese V.League 2018-19 Final Eight campaign.
The teams were locked in a close battle in the first set until JT finished the set with a 10-6 run to take the opener, 25-21. JT also dominated the Medics in the second set, 25-18, and finished the match in three, 26-24, despite coming from behind.
Santiago tallied 10 attack points on 16 attempts, one kill block, and one service ace. Katarina Barun Susnjar led the way for the Medics with 20 successful spikes and an ace. Yuri Yoshino and Miyuki Horie added five and four points, respectively.
Meanwhile, Serbian Brankica Mihajlovic paced JT Marvelous with 17 attacks while Mizuki Tanaka added 12. Aika Akutagawa and Kotona Hayashi chipped in nine points apiece while Kaewkalaya Kamulthala made eight markers.
While the Ageo Medics had a 5-2 advantage in service aces and a 4-2 edge in scoring blocks, those did not compensate for JT Marvelous’ 52-39 advantage in attacks. Ageo also had 20 errors as compared to JT’s 15.
The victory pushed JT into second place in the V.League Women’s Division 1 Final Eight while the Ageo Medics fell to sixth.
The Medics will try to score a victory when they face the Hitachi Rivale on Saturday, March 9, at 1:30 PM Philippine time. On the other hand, JT Marvelous will battle for its second win against the Denso Airybees on the same day at 12:30 PM PH time.
Santiago-Manabat, Arrows edge Red Rockets in five
In other news, Dindin Santiago-Manabat’s squad Toray Arrows defeated the NEC Red Rockets after being down two sets to none, 23-25, 24-26, 25-19, 25-23, 15-12. Jana Kulan led the charge for the Arrows with 33 attacks and two blocks while Ai Kurogo managed 16 spikes and three blocks. Nanami Inoue dominated the net with six blocks to go with her 11 attack points while Kaho Ono added 13.
As for the Red Rockets, team captain Mizuki Yanagita topped with 22 points while Sarina Koga added 19. Misaki Yamauchi contributed 12 while Nanami Hirose and Haruyo Shimamura made 10 apiece.
For their next assignments, Toray will face defending champion Hisamitsu Springs while NEC will battle with the Toyota Auto Body Queenseis. Both games will be played on March 9.