Jaja Santiago and Saitama figured in a five-set thriller to start their 2021-22 Japan V.League Division 1 women’s tournament campaign.
Ageo Medics completed their comeback against home squad Okayama, 28-30, 26-24, 23-25, 25-13, 15-11, Saturday at the Kasaoka Gymnasium.
Santiago played the whole match, finishing with 17 points, including four block kills. She got 29 attacking attempts.
Pushed to the limit, Ageo Medics made a statement in the fourth set, coming out with guns blazing to take it, 25-13, and send the game to a deciding fifth frame.
And there, the reigning V Cup champions proved the steadier team between the two.
Yuka Sato carried Saitama with 40 big points, spread through 38 attacks, a block, and an ace.
Mami Uchiseto added 21 points while Brazilian import Lorenne Teixeira only played in two sets, finishing with four points.
Twenty-five-year-old open spiker Syuka Kaneda led the Seagulls with 28 points, while Aimi Sato chipped in 12 points.
The errors of Ageo Medics helped the cause of their opponents, giving up 31 errors compared to Okayama’s 16.
The two clubs will meet again tomorrow, 1:00 pm, still at the same Okayama arena.