Losing the 2nd set due to rough reception, though, Asano, Tatsumi and Kohrogi, who came in midway, made a great contribution and extended the lead toward the end of the game.
STINGS went into the 3rd let with top, after defeating Panasonic Panthers last weekend in Hiroshima, at 17 wins and 1 loss. Almost perfect record, but nobody is satisfied. The target is the final on February 29th. Before reaching this day, it’s important to play every single match with maximum effort.
It was not a bad start. Nishida won a break point with an attack, followed by kills blocks in a row from Fukuyama and Kaziyski. Nishida also made a kill, to gain the lead by 5 points. Nishida made an aggressive service and Kaziyski made a point. It was the best scenario to score points. STINGS gained 3 consecutive points before and after the first technical time-out at 7-4, playing hard to win rallies.
The team took rhythm of the game into the middle of the set. The setter Nakane set up quick attacks in the important moments and Fushimi reacted. When Nishida made a kill to 14-8, VC Nagano Tridents called the first time-out. The libero Honma led stable reception. Fukuyama won a point to reach the second technical time-out at 16-11.
However, rhythm of the game has changed. Hakamaya, who just came in, won a point to 17-11, but STINGS lost 5 points in a row, to keep the advantage only by 1 point. Kuboyama joined on the court, but it didn’t change the situation. Nishida and Nakane came back into the court and STINGS started extending their lead again, helped by a kill block from Fujinaka, however, the score became tied at 19-19 after losing 3 consecutive points. Nishida got blocked. VC Nagano Tridents started dominating the game.
It was Nishida who saved the team. He scored 3 consecutive points to stretch out the lead into 23-20. Nishida hit a ball from the left side to reach the set point. It was Kaziyski who finished the set. STINGS managed to win the 1st set in 25-22.
On the other hand, VC Nagano Tridents had more momentum into the 2nd set, though STINGS kept their concentration. Nishida and Kaziyski scored points in the beginning of the set to gain the lead into 8-6. Fukuyama made a quick attack. The game started changing into the middle of the game. After a series of reception errors, Asano came into the court instead of Fujinaka, but STINGS lost 4 points in a row at 12-13. Giving away an ace, it was difficult to regroup.
Toward the end of the set, the squad was overwhelmed by the opponent. The only bright spot was that Tatsumi entered the court for the first time in this season, which changed the atmosphere on the court. Nishida broke up the opponent reception by serving, to help Kaziyski to win a break point. STINGS lost this set in 21-25, but there seemed to be a possibility for the coming sets.
Kanamaru was on the court to start the 3rd set instead of Fushimi, as well as Asano and Kuboyama. Kaziyski scored the first point from reception by Asano. Nishida followed. Moving to 4-4 by the first point from Asano, STINGS kept their pace. Nishida won a kill block, to reach the first technical time-out ahead by 2 points.
Nishida made an aggressive service. When he went back to serve at 10-8, he made 2 aces. He is not the only a big server, but there is Kaziyski as well. Fukuyama made a kill block to 16-9, to keep a big lead.
STINGS kept composed, even the opponent shuffled the members. The setter Kuboyama ran a variety of offense including a quick attack from Kanamaru, to add points. STINGS showed their strongness to win rallies. Asano made a back-row attack to 22-14. Then, Tatsumi came back on the court instead of Fukuyama, giving pressure by blocking.
Kaziyski made a point to 24-16. VC Nagano Tridents called the time-out. Giving away a side-out, though STINGS kept their concentration. It was Tastumi who made a quick attack to 25-17. One more set to victory.
The 4th set started with a service from Asano, followed by 3 points by a block from Nishida and an attack from Kaziyski. Adding points helped by outside players, STINGS reached the first technical time-out ahead by 3 points.
The team kept their rhythm and Nishida made a kill from the left side. Kaziyski added a blocking point to earn 4 consecutive points. Nishida pounded a ball with a difficult set from Kaziyski. Kuboyama and Asano also showed their fighting spirit by great defense.
The libero Kohrogi came into the court to encourage the squad. When Nishida made an ace to 18-11, VC Nagano Tridents used the second time-out. Nakane and Hakamaya joined the court for double substitution. Tatsumi got many balls toward the end of the set, moving the opponent blockers. Koori came into the court at 23-16. Reaching the match point with a serving error by the opponent, Koori finished the match with his attack. STINGS clinched victory in 25-20.
STINGS earned a victory on the first match of the 3rd leg. All the 14 players came into the court. The head coach Takahashi said, “Even in the difficult situations, other players came from the bench and did a great job. The starters also got well-prepared to win. The level of the team has been elevated. We are making a good result helped by our good preparation.”
The team secured the position not lower than 4th place and go onto the V.Final Stage. But it is not a goal. Going forward step by step.
VC Nagano Tridents
|First set||25 － 22|
|Second set||21 － 25|
|Third set||25 － 17|
|Fourth set||25 － 20|
|Date||January 18 (Sat) 2020|
|Match||Day 19 - V.League Regular Round|
|Location||Jtekt Arena Nara|
|Member||Fujinaka, Fushimi, Fukuyama, Kaziyski, Nishida, Nakane, (L)Honma|