Japan spikers climb into fifth place


Host Japan defeated the South Korea volleyball team 25-21, 25-18, 25-17 on Saturday to pick up its fourth win in seven matches in the women’s World Cup.

Japan moved up to fifth from seventh in the 12-team, round-robin standings. The top three teams will secure berths for next year’s London Olympics.

Yukiko Ebata scored a match-high 18 points for Japan. South Korea suffered its sixth loss of the tournament.

Earlier at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center, defending champion Italy (7-0) downed world No. 1 Brazil (5-2) 25-23, 25-16, 25-22 to keep its perfect record intact.

Also Saturday, China (5-2) defeated Serbia (3-4) 21-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-23.

At Momotaro Arena in Okayama, the United States (6-1) took care of Argentina (3-4) 25-12, 25-15, 25-19.