Jaja Santiago and second-seeded Saitama settled for fourth place after bowing to fourth-ranked NEC, 18-25, 16-25, 25-18, 23-25, to close the 2022-23 V.League women’s Division 1 Final Four on Saturday at the Sky Hall Toyota.
Ageo Medics finished the regular round at second with a 24-9 win-loss record but went 1-2 in the round-robin semifinals. Their lone win was a five-setter against Hisamitsu, which edged them for the bronze with four points compared to their two points.
Toray and the Red Rockets will battle for the championship.
Santiago had 11 points in the loss on nine attacks and two blocks. She also made half of her spikes, going 9-of-18.
“I was happy to see a lot of personal and team growth and development during the half-year battle. Unfortunately, we did not advance to the final, but I am proud of the efforts of the players and staff,” said Saitama head coach Shigekazu Okubo.
Sarina Koga led NEC with 24 points while American import Sarah Parsons added 14 points.
Serbian outside hitter Sara Lozo got 22 points for Ageo Medics while Yuka Sato delivered 17 points of her own.