• Kyodo


The Japan’s women volleyball team suffered its first loss in the preliminary round at the FIVB World Grand Prix after being whipped in straight sets by host and reigning Olympic champion Brazil on Friday.

Thaisa Menezes scored a match-high 19 points as the Brazilians won 25-20, 25-23, 25-15 to improve to 2-0. Japan, which beat Serbia on Thursday, dropped to 1-1.

Yuki Ebata, who scored 10 points for Japan, said, “Our team made so many mistakes and that cannot happen when you play against such a strong adversary as Brazil.”

“The result could have been different if we did not commit that amount of turnovers. It was a good experience though, with the Olympic Games just around the corner, and we had the opportunity to meet the Brazilian fans here in Rio de Janeiro,” she told fivb.com.

Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe said, “The Brazilians managed to play in a good rhythm and made good use of its block skills. The service also was a key point to reach the victory.”

Saturday is a rest day and Japan, which will play Italy on Sunday.

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