Japan failed to capitalize on a two-set lead over powerhouse Brazil and lost 3-2 in a game between unbeaten teams in the preliminary round of the women’s volleyball World Grand Prix on Sunday.
Kaoru Sugayama led Japan with 20 points as the host took the first two sets 25-17, 25-17 before dropping the third and fourth sets 25-17, 25-21 and falling in the decisive fifth set 20-18 after missing a match point at Yoyogi National Gymnasium.
Miyuki Takahashi had 19 points in a brilliant offense while Jaqueline Carvalho nailed a game-high 25 points for Brazil (3-0).
The loss, Japan’s 11th straight against the world No. 2 Brazilian team, left the host with a 2-1 record at the tournament.
In another match, Poland beat South Korea (0-3) to improve its record to 1-2.
Japan will play another six preliminary matches in Seoul and Bangkok. The top five teams from the 12-team preliminary round will join Japan in the World Grand Prix finals to be held in Sendai next month.
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