Bari, Italy, September 25, 2014 – World Grand Prix runners-up Japan beat Cuba 3-0 (25-19, 26-24, 25-23) here Thursday afternoon for their second win in a row in the pool D of the 2014 FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship.With the victory in 78 minutes, Japan improved to seven points on a 2-1 win-loss record in pool D. Key Points:· Ebata Yukiko was the top scorer in the match with 13 points; Alena Rojas Orta led Cuba with 12.· Cuba and Japan have met six times at the World Championship.. Cuba won their last four meetings (twice in 1978, once in 1990 and 2006) while Japan claimed victory in their first two meetings (1970 and 1974).· Cuba had nine block points to Japan’s three.· Their most recent meeting at a major tournament was at the 2012 World Grand Prix. Cuba beat Japan 3-1 in the preliminary round.
A couple of mistakes from the Cuban team gave the Asian side an early 4-0 advantage in the opening set. Then Cuba came back with improved attacking to pull within 8-7, but Shinnabe Risa took turns to help Japan hold the lead (12-9). Ebata Yukiko and Nagaoka Miyu continued their magnificent action as Japan wrapped up the first set 25-19.
The second set started with more motivation from Gala's team and coach Manabe Masayoshi called the timeout as Japan trailed at 5-2. Before the second TTO, Japan came back to level it at 15-15 (Ebata's block). Middle blocker Sullian Matienzo made a solid barrier to her team, allowing them to lead at 21-18. But Japan worked hard to close the gap and made it 22-22. Soon after that, Japan saved a set point before Ebata Yukiko scored the winning point at 26-24 and made it two sets to nil.
Japan again started actively in the third set as they jumped to an 8-5 lead at the first TTO. Cuba drew level at 12-12 but a Nagaoka Miyu attack gave Japan a 16-12 lead. Cuba showed great fighting spirit to tie the scoring at 23-23. But Nagaoka Miyu tipped a ball out off rebounds to put the match to an end (25-23).