Japan completed a sweep of Pool B with a dominant three-set conquest of Australia, 25-4, 25-11, 25-15, to go into the next round undefeated, Thursday afternoon at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The win sees the Hinotori Nippon on top of the group with a 3-0 win-loss record, while Australia still searches for its first win at 0-3. Both squads, though, are headed into the quarterfinals.
Outside hitter Yuki Nishikawa paced Japan once more with 18 points, eight coming from that one-sided first set, to end with 13 spikes, two blocks, and three service aces. Mizuki Tanaka added 16 markers on 10 attacks and six service aces.
“We only had little time to prepare for this competition with this team, but we did great and I’m so happy for it,” Nishikawa said of their group sweep through an interpreter. “Personally, it wasn’t my best, but we got to win this game, so that was really great.”
The 2018 runners-up jumped on the lead with a huge 16-1 advantage in the opening set, capitalizing on the passing problems of Australia, which turned into a lopsided win for the set advantage.
It was the same story in the second frame despite Australia getting its block coverage to work for transition. Japan continued to work around Australia’s defense patterns to eventually take the second set as well.
Australia got its groove in the third set and cut the deficit to nine, 9-18, but it was too late for the squad as Japan cruised to the win and the pool sweep.
Miyu Nakagawa was the other Japanese in double digits with 11 on nine attacks, one block, and one service ace.
No Australians, on the other hand, finished in twin figures with Khiani Garton-Dodd scoring four of her seven in that third-set run, ending with six spikes and one service ace. Opposite hitter Caitlin Tipping was limited to just two attacks in this contest.
Japan and Australia take on their respective last eight opponents on Saturday with the latter taking on Pool A winner at 11 a.m., while the former battling against the Pool A fourth-placer at 8 p.m.
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