Make it three straight wins for Jaja Santiago and the Ageo Medics as they defeated the defending V.League Women’s Division 1 champions Hisamitsu Springs in four sets: 25-12, 25-27, 25-22, and 25-20. The victory extended the Medics’ lead over the NEC Red Rockets atop the Eastern Conference at 9-7. On the other hand, the star-studded Springs with players such as Risa Shinnabe, Nana Iwasaka, Yuki Ishii, Mana Toe, Arisa Inoue, and Foluke Akinradewo suffered only their second loss in 15 games.
Jaja Santiago connected on 12 attacks out of 19 tries while tallying two blocks. Katarina Barun Susnjar once again led the Medics with 29 attack points, two kill blocks, and two aces. Horie Miyuku and Yuri Yoshino added nine points apiece for the winning team. Meanwhile, Ishii led the Hisamitsu Springs with 21 attack points while Rika Nomoto contributed 13. Akinradewo and Nakagawa chipped in 11 and five markers, respectively. Prior to this game, the Springs’ last defeat came at the hands of JT Marvelous last November 10.
Holding a 5-4 lead in the first set, the Medics scored three straight points to enter the first technical timeout with a 8-4 lead and never looked back. They mounted a lead as high as 13 points, 24-11, before Ami Wakamatsu ended the set with a successful spike from Zone 4. In Set Two, the Medics held set point at 25-24 in the second set but the Springs took the set via two consecutive kill blocks by Iwasaka on Susnjar.
Santiago made the winning point in set three with an attack from Zone 2 that glanced off Toe’s arms. The Medics then finished set four and the match with a 7-2 run from an 18-18 deadlock.
Winning five of their six games in 2019, the Ageo Medics have four games left in the V.League 2018-19 Season preliminary round. Their next match will be on February 2 at 12 noon against the PFU Blue Cats and a victory there will improve their Final Eight hopes. Meanwhile, the Springs have clinched a Final Eight spot even though they have five games left. However, their next assignment will be the NEC Red Rockets tomorrow (January 27) at 11 am. Both schedules shown follow Philippine standard time.
Here’s Jaja’s interview after being hailed Player of the Game for the second consecutive match, this time against the Hisamitsu Springs.