Japanese women’s volleyball champions are unrecognizable lately, suffering second consecutive defeat to underdogs. After succumbing to newcomers and also last-placed PFU BlueCats, Hisamitsu lost to third worst team in V-League (according to the standings) Toray Arrows 3-2 (24-26, 26-28, 25-21, 25-21, 16-14), in Round 16, after dropping 2-0 lead in sets! The only good news for V-League title holders is that their Top 6 spot is still not in jeopardy. Mari Horikawa with 26 and U.S. import Carly Wopat with 21 points crashed Hisamitsu in which Miyu Nagaoka had 24.
Hisamitsu’s loss went into favor of leaders NEC Red Rockets and second-placed Hitachi Rivale. Red Rockets swept Toyota Queenseis in straight sets while Hitachi struggled with PFU BlueCats 3-2.
Men’s title holders Gosei Trefuerza only had slight problems with Suntory Sunbirds 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 26-24). Croatian Igor Omrčen scored 28 points, which would be a high-level performance even in a five-set game, let alone in three sets! Colombian Yadrián Escobar collected 19 on the other side.
Sakai Blazers ended a four-game losing streak by downing JT Thunders, direct competitors for the Top 6, 3-2.