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University of Tsukuba schools Team Sparkle

University of Tsukuba delivered a strong statement when it opened its campaign in the 2019 PSL Super Cup on Tuesday night.

The Japanese flaunted their depth and chemistry as they picked apart Team Sparkle in straight-set fashion, 25-8, 25-12, 25-20, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Deploying each weapon in its arsenal, the reigning titleholder of the All Japan Intercollegiate Volleyball Championship dictated the tempo in the first and second frames. Though the Filipinas put up a strong stand midway through the decisive third set, the visiting team proved too much down the stretch.

“We tried to play our best and we can play very hard,” said Tsukuba team captain Miho Yokota, who generated the offense for the Japan contingents with 14 excellent sets.

Marina Takahashi emerged as the lone double-digit scorer in the match, leading nine Japanese on the offensive end. She pummeled 16 points built on 10 attacks, five kill blocks and an ace. She also had seven excellent digs to her name.

Miku Isogai finished a point shy of breaching twin-digit territory, churning out nine markers. Ami Yamashuro and Syuri Kurata supplied seven points each, as Kyomi Hayakawa contributed six.

On the other hand, Sparkle had 11 players tally a point in a lost cause. Still, no one from its side went over the 10-point mark.

Carmina Aganon topped her team with six points, as Grethcel Soltones and Judith Abil managed four and three markers. National pool playmaker Alohi Robins-Hardy only had eight excellent sets laced with two points.

University of Tsukuba looks to conquer another Philippine squad when it faces Team Shine on Thursday. Meanwhile, Sparkle tries to bounce back from a sour start to its campaign when they square off against the Nationals on the same day. Both matches will be played at the same venue.

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