Yanagida strikes again as Japan breeze past Korea


Masahiro Yanagida served three more aces for Japan

 Takasaki, Japan, June 11, 2017 – Masahiro Yanagida was Japan’s top scorer again as the host side brushed aside Korea 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-20) in an FIVB World League Group 2 match at Takasaki Arena on Sunday.

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Yanagida, the hero of Japan’s last-gasp, five-set win over Slovenia on Saturday, scored 14 points, including three more aces to add to his tally. Kang Won Lee was the only Korea player to reach double figures. He scored 10 points.

The win was Japan's third straight and lifted their record to 4-2. Korea fell to 3-3.

Buoyed by victories over Turkey and Slovenia in their first two matches, Japan came out aggressively against traditional rivals Korea. Behind their strong service and good defence, Japan took an early lead and finished the set at 25-18. Yanagida had five points for Japan in the opening set.

After a tight opening session, Japan continued their strong play in the second set, keeping pressure on Korea with their service and blocking. Issei Otake, Yanagida and Ri Haku played especially well for Japan in the second set. As in the first set, a solid kill by Yuki Ishikawa brought up set point and a block by Yanagida sealed the set.

The third set was tight to 16-16, but Japan stepped up a gear and Korea had no answers. Match point came from a long serve by Lee and a good block by Japan wrapped things up. Otake had seven points in the final set.


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