Japan spikers drop to 2-2 in women’s World Grand Prix

NINGBO, China (Kyodo) Japan’s women suffered disappointment with a defeat at the hands of Poland on Saturday, leaving them no chance to win the World Grand Prix finals title.

Japan lost 25-15, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22 to the Poles, who picked up their first win in the six-team round robin tournament.

Japan, which slipped to a 2-2 record on four points, has no possibility of winning the title even if it defeats the United States on the final day Sunday, after defending champion Brazil (2-2) beat Italy (1-3) in straight sets to improve to eight points.

Wing-spiker Saori Kimura matched a game-high 19 points.

“Even though Poland was serving really well against us, our players were not focused in the beginning. When your serve-reception is this bad, it’s a difficult game for a team like Japan that doesn’t have an ace attacker,” said Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe.