• Kyodo

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Japan’s women lost their second game at the FIVB World Cup on Tuesday after going down 3-2 to Serbia, dropping to fifth in the standings.

Japan edged the first set 26-24 on Miyu Nagaoka’s spike and Saori Kimura’s service ace against Serbs, but lost the next two sets 25-17 and 25-14, Tijana Boskovic and Brankica Mihajlovic nullifying Japanese blocks. Sarina Koga help Japan take the fourth set 25-21 but fell short in the final set, going down 15-9.

“The serves from the Serbians broke up our defense and we were undone by their high blocks. We can’t lose anymore but we’ll give our best to the end,” said manager Masayoshi Makabe.

The United States remains top with a 7-1 record and 22 points after defeating Cuba, with Russia and China trailing by a point with the same record. The top two teams qualify automatically for next summer’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

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