Saitama defeated Hitachi in four sets, 25-18, 18-25, 25-18, 25-23, in the V.League Division 1 women’s tournament at the Adastria Mito Arena in Ibaraki on Saturday.
Jaja Santiago owned the blocking department with four of Ageo Medics’ seven blocks to add to her three attacks to end with seven points.
Saitama joined Hisamitsu and PFU for a three-way logjam at the fifth spot behind identical 8-5 win-loss records.
Lorenne Teixeira finished with a game-high 22 points on 19 spikes, two service aces, and one block in the win.
Mami Uchiseto chipped in 21 points while Yuka Sato delivered 19 points.
Miwako Osanai paced the Rivale with 17 points including a solitary service ace, while Ruriko Uesaka got 14 points but went 11-of-42 in her attacks.
American import Hannah Tapp was held to just eight points in the losing cause as Hitachi slid to 5-8.
The two squads meet again tomorrow at 1 pm at the same venue before heading into a month-long break.