RIMINI, Italy, May 27 (Xinhua) — Japan, the United States and Turkey remained unbeaten after the conclusion of the first week of play at the 2021 FIVB women’s Volleyball Nations League.
Japan, who had hammered reigning Olympic champions China 3-0 on Wednesday, beat South Korea 25-18, 25-18 and 27-25 for their third straight victory. Sarina Koga led the Japanese scoring with 20 points and Mayu Ishikawa added 18.
“In the first and second sets we played a good game against Korea. In the third, we struggled to close the set and match, but eventually we managed to do it,” said Ishikawa. “We have had a great start in the tournament, and we want to continue it this way. We will do our best in the next matches.”
Sarah Wilhite notched 25 points to lift the United States past Brazil 25-17, 25-19, 23-25 and 25-22. Jordan Larson and Andrea Drews contributed 16 points apiece for the Americans’ third win in as many matches.
“I’m just really proud of our team, the way we fought this battle,” said Wilhite. “We started really strong in the first two sets, but then we made too many mistakes. But then we regained control, even if they pushed us. Winning three matches for three points is huge. It’s good to start the tournament this way.”
Turkey also registered a 3-0 win-loss record by beating Poland 3-1.
Also on Thursday, Germany whitewashed Belgium 3-0, Russia lost to the Netherlands 3-1, the Dominican Republic beat Canada in four sets, China downed Thailand 3-0 and Serbia overcame Italy 3-1.
After the conclusion of Week 1, the Netherlands, Serbia, Brazil, China, Russia, Germany share a 2-1 record, while Italy, Belgium, Canada and Thailand remain winless.
16 teams are contesting the round-robin preliminaries, with the top four finishers to advance into the semifinals. Enditem