Japan Emperor’s Cup: U of Tsukuba upsets Sakai Blazers

  0 Jeremy Brahm | December 16th, 2017 | Japanese League, News, Pro Indoor

The first round of the Japan Emperor’s Cup had three universities upsets V.League Challenge level teams. Nippon Sport Science University defeated Daido Steel Red Star (Challenge 1) 3-1, Chuo University (Yuki Ishikawa’s old team) beat Toyota Motor SunHawks (Challenge 1) 3-2 and the University of Tsukuba defeated new team Voreas Hokkaido (Challenge 2) in straight sets 3-0.

The biggest surprise of the second round was the University of Tsukuba defeating the Sakai Blazers. The Blazers took a 2-0 set lead, but Tsukuba kept fighting taking the both third and fourth sets by a tight 25-23 score to tie the match at 2-2 sets. Tsukuba took the fifth set again by the minimum two points 15-13, for the upset win over a professional team. Could this loss propel Blazers to the Final 6 when the season resumes? Right now, they are two wins behind a playoff spot with seven games left. As for Tsukuba, they will face JTEKT Stings in the quarterfinals.

The Suntory Sunbirds gave up their 2-1 set lead to Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler, but win the fifth set 15-12 to take their match 3-2. Panasonic Panthers had more difficulty in the match with Fujitsu Kawasaki Red Spirits than expected. Fujitsu is the top team in the Challenge 1 league (1 step below Premier League) and forced the Panthers to extra points in the first set, which Panasonic won 28-26. The second was also a minimum points win by Panasonic at 25-23. The third sets was more comfortable at 25-20 for a Panthers sweep. Panasonic faces Suntory in the quarterfinals.

The remaining matches of the Premier League teams, Toray Arrows, FC Tokyo, JTEKT Stings, JT Thunders and Toyota Gosei Trefuerza were all comfortable 3-0 sweeps.

1st Round Results, December 15, 2017
Kinden Trinity Blitzs 3-2 University of East Asia  (27-25, 25-20, 28-30, 19-25, 15-8)
Chuo University 3-2 Toyota Motor SunHawks (25-19, 21-25, 28-26, 20-25, 15-11)
Fujitsu Kawasaki Red Spirits 3-0 Ehime Club (25-11, 25-19, 25-19)
Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler 3-0 Yamagata Selection (25-12, 25-17, 25-17)
Kindai University 3-2 Chinzei High School (25-22, 25-22, 21-25, 27-29, 15-11)
University of Tsukuba 3-0 Voreas Hokkaido (25-21, 25-21, 25-15)
Nippon Sport Science University 3-1 Daido Steel Red Star (20-25, 25-15, 25-21, 25-19)
VC Nagano Tridents 3-0 Tenri University (25-21, 25-15, 25-17)

2nd Round Results, December 16, 2017
Toray Arrows 3-0 Kinden Trinity Blitzs (25-15, 25-21, 25-16)
FC Tokyo 3-0 Chuo University (25-17, 25-20, 25-23)
Panasonic Panthers 3-0 Fujitsu Kawasaki Red Spirits (28-26, 25-23, 25-20)
Suntory Sunbirds 3-2 Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler (20-25, 25-21, 27-25, 21-25, 15-12)
JTEKT Stings 3-0 Kindai University (25-23, 25-15, 25-15)
University of Tsukuba 3-2 Sakai Blazers (17-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-13)
JT Thunders 3-0 Nippon Sport Science University (25-17, 25-15, 25-21)
Toyota Gosei Trefuerza 3-0 VC Nagano Tridents (25-18, 25-22, 25-15)

Quarterfinals, December 17, 2017
Toray Arrows vs. FC Tokyo
Panasonic Panthers vs. Suntory Sunbirds
JTEKT Stings vs. University of Tsukuba
JT Thunders vs. Toyota Gosei Trefuerza

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