• Kyodo, Staff Report

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Japan defeated South Korea in straight sets to move up to second place at the FIVB Women’s World Cup on Monday.

Japan took the first set 25-17 behind the strength of Miyu Nagaoka and Sarina Koga, who each scored 15 points for the match. The hosts went on to take the next two sets 26-24 and 25-17 at Sendai Gymnasium for their sixth win in seven games.

“We had great serves, especially from (Haruka) Miyashita. We won in straight sets and the mood around the team is good,” Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe said.

Japan moved ahead of overnight leader Russia, which lost its first match of the tournament 3-2 to Serbia, dropping to third. The United States tops the standings with 19 points, one ahead of Japan.

The top two qualify automatically for next summer’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Nagaoka finished with 13 spikes, while Koga had 12. Riho Otake added 11 points, providing three blocks and a pair of service aces. Saori Kimura finished the night with 10 points in the 1-hour, 41-minute match before an announced crowd of 6,742.

For South Korea, Kim Yeon-koung was the high scorer with 15 points, 13 coming on spikes. Kim Hee-jin had 13 points, all 13 on the attack.

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