JTEKT STINGS VS Panasonic Panthers

Nishida scored 30 attacking points. With good relationship between blocking and defense, the team overwhelmed Panasonic Panthers in offense and defense.

It was a head-to-head confrontation against Panasonic Panthers. Since the last action, which STINGS lost, the team has been unbeaten. For the last game of the 2nd leg, with 16 wins and 1 loss, the squad was well-prepared. Just needed to put 100% on the court.

There was a slight change in the starting lineup. Kanamaru became a starter for the first time in this season. The game started with a competitive rally. The opponent blockers got a touch of an attack from Nishida in a row, but the opponent made an attacking error, out of bounds. Kanamaru served and Nishida made a break point. Kanamaru stopped the opponent quick attack, using his body. Getting a good rhythm.
However, Nishida was marked tight. STINGS lost 4 points in a row. The setter Nakane kept setting up to Nishida. Kaziyski made points in the important moment to 4-4. Rao added point to upset the score. Then, both teams fought for points. Fujinaka made a successful block to 7-5. STINGS reached the first technical time-out ahead by 2 points.
Even when Nishida and Kaziyski went back to the back zone, the team kept scoring points. Nishida made a strong attack from the back row. Kubiak got an ace, but Kaziyski took back a point by his attack.
STINGS added more side-outs, to keep the lead by a few points. Fujinaka passed a ball with underhand and Nishida made an attacking point, to extend the lead into 16-13.
Nishida kept the high concentration. He added points with a variety of attacks, rips and tips. He hit over the opponent block. Rao made a quick attack in important phases. The team kept serving well, thus, STINGS dominated the game.
Nishida won a challenge point. Both teams traded points. Nishida made an effective service, followed by a successful block from Kaziyski, to reach the set point. The opponent hit into the net to close this set in 25-20. Nishida scored 13 points in the 1st set.

STINGS delivered a good game. Into the 2nd set, Kaziyski and Rao made side-outs by attacking. When Nishida went back to serving at 2-1, he made aces in a row. The spinning ball slammed into the arms of Kubiak. The score became 5-2. Panasonic Panthers called the first time-out.
STINGS had an unstoppable momentum. Rao made a skillful tip to 7-5. Tied at 7-7, the squad extended their lead, making 5 consecutive points. Nishida pounded balls. The opponent made some mistakes under blocking pressure. Nakane made an ace to score the 11th point. Nishida did a full swing for another point. Panasonic Panthers called the second time at 12-7.
Giving away 1 point, though, STINGS earned 3 points in a row. Kaziyski made a back-row kill. Honma dived and dig the ball, from which Nishida make a kill, to extend the lead into 15-8.
Just needed to add point by point. Rao scored a blocking point. Kanamaru contributed to the team by defense. Rao hit balls in the important moment, to fool the opponent blockers. STINGS called the first time-out in this match at 19-15, but the team are solid. Rao made an ace to 21st point. Kanamaru made a quick attack. Nishida pushed a ball in line from the left side.
Nishida closed this set in 25-19 with tip.

STINGS took control of this set from the beginning of the 3rd set, adding points by opponent mistakes. Making 6 points in a row at 2-3, including 2 aces from Kaziyski, Nakane kept setting up to Nishida. STINGS overwhelmed Panasonic Panthers, which changed some members into this set.
Rao made quick attacks in the important phases. Nishida kept jumping high and saw blockers well. Kaziyski stopped Kubiak with a single block. STINGS followed a perfect game plan. Rao made a successful block, to reach the second technical time-out at 16-9.
Panasonic Panthers tried to get the momentum, but Nishida prevented it with his attack. Fushimi replaced Nakane for blocking at 18-12. Nishida scored 19th point from a back set by Fushimi. Kanamaru was substituted by Fukuyama. Nishida made a powerful attack to 20th point. Fujinaka shut out Shimizu, followed by another block from Fukuyama.
The game was almost decided. STINGS gained the match point by the opponent mistake. Another attacking error closed the match at 25-14. STINGS won in 3 sets.

It was a satisfactory victory. Not only Nishida, as a go-to player, al the players did their roles on the court.
“When we can keep serving well, we trust our relationship between blocking and defense. Nishida and Kaziyski seem to be outstanding, but all the other players made effective services, and I think we did well all around. It was key to gain our rhythm,” said the head coach Takahashi after the match. The teams is on the winning streak of 10 games, with 17 wins and 1 losses and came back on top after head-to-head battle. It’s important to take it slow. Just go into every single match with maximum effort, as they have been doing.

Panasonic Panthers
First set 25 - 20
Second set 25 - 19
Third set 25 - 14
Fourth set
Fifth set
Date January 12 (Sun) 2020
Match Day 18 - V.League Regular Round
Location Hiroshima Green Arena
Member Fujinaka, Kanamaru, Rao, Kaziyski, Nishida, Nakane, (L)Honma