After winning their two previous games, Jaja Santiago and the Ageo Medics lost to the Toyota Auto Body Queenseis during their V.League Women’s Division 1 2nd Leg match Sunday morning at the Saitama City Memorial General Sports Park Gymnasium.
The Queenseis established an 8-3 lead going into the first technical timeout of the opening set and never looked back. Santiago and the Medics can’t get their offense going due to Toyota’s stellar defense. The lead of the visitors stretched to 16-8 by the second TTO and five unanswered points since established their biggest lead at 21-8. The Ageo Medics tried one last push but Toyota claimed the first set, 25-15. The Queenseis had the edge in attacks, 14-8, and kill blocks, 4-1.
The Medics flipped the script in set two to grab a sizeable 8-2 lead by the first TTO of set two. But from a 14-10 disadvantage, Toyota blazed on a 5-1 run to trim the lead to one, 15-14. Ageo had a two point lead entering the second TTO and embarked on a 9-5 run to close the set at 25-19. It was Ageo’s time to gain the advantage in spike points, 18-11, and blocks, 4-1.
Toyota dominated the third set by staging a 4-1 run from a 4-4 deadlock. The Auto Body Queenseis did not look back since as they padded their lead to as high as ten points, 24-14. The Medics saved two set points but Toyota clinched a two-sets-to-one lead at 25-16. The winning squad had a huge 7-0 edge in kill blocks and 17-10 lead in attack points.
Ageo and Toyota fought tooth and nail for the fourth set. The Medics surged to a 5-3 lead only to be edged by their opponents at 8-7. Ageo regained the upper hand at 12-10 but the Auto Body Queenseis had the slimmest of margins coming into the second TTO. The see-saw battle continued until Toyota broke a 21-21 tie with a 4-1 scoring run to take the set and the match, 25-22.
Jaja Santiago scored 14 points (11 attacks on 17 tries, two blocks, and an ace). Katarina Barun Susnjar also made 14 scores (13 spikes, one block). Horie Miyuki added 13 and Yuri Yoshino contributed 10 for the Medics. On the other hand, Neriman Ozsoy paced the Queenseis with 21 points, 19 off attacks, while Mami Uchiseto tallied 16 on 10 attacks and six blocks. Saori Takahashi and Erika Araki chipped in 15 and 13, respectively.
The Ageo Medics fall to 6-7 and are currently in third spot in the Eastern Conference. Their next game will be on January 19 at 1 pm, Philippine time, against JT Marvelous. Meanwhile, the Toyota Auto Body Queenseis improved to 9-3 and are also in third place in the Western Conference. They will try to get their tenth win of the Japanese V.League Women’s Division 1 2018-19 season against the league-leading Hisamitsu Springs on the same day at 11 am PH time.