Bari, Italy, September 24, 2014 – Japan beat Belgium 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23) on the second day of the FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship at PalaFlorio in Bari and redeemed the defeat of yesterday against Azerbaijan.
Key Points• Ebata Yukiko scored game high 29 points for Japan while Lise Van Hecke was the top scorer of Belgium with 20 points.• Belgian Dirickx and Van Hecke will play in Piacenza, club of Italian League.• This is the first World Championship match between Belgium and Japan.• Their only previous meeting in a major tournament was at the 2014 World Grand Prix, when hosts Japan won 3-0 in the Final Round.
The first set started very evenly, with both sides trading points in front of a large number of exciting Belgian supporters. Yellow Tigers had an one-point lead at the first TTO at 8-7. But Japan put a break of seven point when Ebata served to overtake the lead at 14-8. Belgium closed the gap to 24-22 before Japan won the set thanks to a doubtful point. Ebata was the best scorer of the set (6 points).
Belgium had another good start in the second set. Bland increased their lead to three points at the second TTO (8-5). Japanese coach Manabe called a timeout with his team four points behind at 13-9. Coolman's ace held a four-point advantage at the second TTO (16-12) for Belgium. The Asian team did not give up as a block of Ono Kana followed by an ace of Saori Kimura put their team 20-19 ahead. In a thrilling final, Van Hecke produced a flurry of superb attacks that led to secure the set (25-22).
The third set kicked off with an inspired Ebata Yukiko scoring well for Hinotori Nippon. Japan were leading at 9-5 and 12-8 before enlarging it to 16-11 with Saori Kimura and Ono Kana killing well. The Belgians pulled within 19-18 thanks to Van Hecke and a Van De Vijver ace. After timeout, Japan increased their lead and Ebata Yukiko finished off with a blockout to put Manabe's team 2-1 up.
Japan raced to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set. But they lost their rhythm and allowed Belgium to recover and overtake the lead 16-12 at STT. Van Hecke moved Belgium seven points ahead at 20-13, but an extraordinary recovery of Japan with Ebata Yukiko (21-20) and Saori Kimura (block on Heyrman's fast) wrapped up the win for Manabe's team (25-23).