RIO DE JANEIRO – Japan defeated Argentina 3-0 in its fifth and final game of the preliminary round Sunday to secure a place in the quarterfinals of the women’s volleyball tournament at the Rio Olympics.
Japan, the London Olympic bronze medal winner, came from behind to win the first set en route to a 25-23, 25-16, 26-24 victory, finishing fourth in Pool A with a 2-3 record.
Masayoshi Manabe’s team eliminated Argentina in the process and will now face Pool B winner the United States in the last eight on Tuesday. The U.S. team finished the preliminary round with a perfect 5-0 record after a 22-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-19 win over China.
“I am glad we were able to win our final pool match,” said Manabe.
“The (quarterfinal) game on the 16th was the initial target we had set for ourselves so we will make changes looking ahead to that.”
Yuki Ishii led Japan with a game-high 18 points, with Saori Sakoda chipping in with 11.
“The Americans have height, power and speed and we will try not to allow them to capitalize on that,” Ishii said of the London Olympic silver medalists. “After that it will all be about playing with heart.”
Lucia Fresco scored a team-high 16 points for Argentina.