Japanese men lose volleyball opener to Serbia

Kyodo

Japan failed to put up much of a fight in its opening match of the men’s world Olympic qualifiers, losing 3-0 to Serbia on Friday.

Japan went down 25-19, 25-23, 25-16 to the world’s No. 7 team at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, where the Serbs were led by 13 points from Nikic Milos and 10 each from Nikola Kovacevic and Marko Podrascanin.

Serbia also enjoyed 24 points off errors by Japan, which faces Venezuela on Saturday. Venezuela was thrashed 3-0 by Australia earlier Friday, when China beat Puerto Rico by the same score as did Iran over South Korea.

To qualify for London, Japan needs to either win the eight-team round-robin tournament or be the highest finisher from Asia. The Japanese women qualified for their third consecutive Olympics on Sunday.