Japan spikers remain unbeaten at worlds

Kyodo News

Host Japan preserved its unbeaten start at the FIVB Women’s World Volleyball Championship on Tuesday with a straight-sets win over Costa Rica in Pool A.

Japan, which has already booked its spot in the second round, eased to a 25-9, 25-13, 25-8 win at Yoyogi National Gymnasium to improve its record to 4-0. Costa Rica dropped to 1-3.

Japan faces Serbia, also at 4-0 after routing Algeria 25-15, 25-12, 25-21, in its final first-round match on Wednesday.

“It will be an all-out battle against Serbia so I am glad I could use all my players,” said Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe.

“The Serbians are really strong but hopefully we can break them down by serving the way we did today. It will be an important game to prepare for the next round.”

In the other Pool A game, Poland (2-2) also advanced to the next round after a 25-10, 25-15, 25-16 win over Peru.

In other games, defending champion Russia won its fourth consecutive match with a 25-18, 25-17, 19-25, 25-22 defeat of South Korea (3-1) in a match between teams already qualified for the second phase from Group D. They were joined by Turkey, a five-set winner over Canada.

Olympic champion Brazil (4-0) swept aside Puerto Rico (1-3) 25-20, 25-18, 25-20 in Group B.

Germany and World Grand Prix winner the United States advanced from Group C. Germany beat Croatia 26-24, 25-18, 25-21, while the Americans routed Kazakhstan 25-17, 25-19, 25-19.