There were some upsets in the first round of the Empress’s Cup. Seiwa Joshi Gakuin High School defeated Asahikawa University 3-0, Kagoshima Girls’ High School defeated JA Gifu Rioreina 3-0 and Japan Women’s College of Physical Education beat Toyota Motor Valkure 3-0.
In the second round, Toray Arrows ended the Kagoshima high schoolers dreams 3-0, NEC Red Rockets stopped Seiwa’s dream also 3-0 and Hitachi Rivale ended Japan Women’s College’s hopes 3-0. Hitachi will meet Toray in the quarterfinals.
However, the only upset of the second round was the Okayama Seagulls defeating the Ageo Medics 3-1. Both teams had faced each other in the promotion-relegation battle (Challenge Match), a two-match series (wins, sets won, points won tie breaker system). Okayama had won the first match 3-1, but Ageo won the second 3-0 to win the series, (1-1 wins, 4-3 sets won). The win for the Seagulls was a bit of payback for the end of last season. Okayama will face the NEC Red Rockets in the quarterfinals.
Denso Airybees also met their opponents in the Challenge Match from last season in PFU Blue Cats. The Airybees dominated the first set 25-13, but PFU took the next two sets each at a hard-fought 25-22. Denso went on to win the fourth set and ultimately the fifth to take the match 3-2 to advance to the quarterfinals against Hisamitsu Springs. JT Marvelous had more difficulty against University of Tsukuba than they had expected, in their 3-1 win. Tsubuka forced one set to extra points which Tsukuba won 29-27, and in the fourth set JT only won by the minimum at 25-23. The Marvelous will meet Toyota Auto Body Queenseis in the quarterfinals.
The remaining matches for Premier League teams, Hisamitsu Springs and Toyota Auto Body Queenseis were comfortable 3-0 sweeps.
1st Round Results, December 15, 2017
Seiwa Joshi Gakuin High School 3-0 Asahikawa University (25-15, 25-10, 25-18)
Okayama Seagulls 3-0 Kinrankai High School (25-14, 25-18, 25-22)
Kurobe Aqua Fairies 3-0 Kyushu Bunka Gakuen High School (25-17, 25-15, 25-16)
University of Tsukuba 3-0 Ehime Club (25-15, 25-20, 25-16)
Japan Women’s College of Physical Education 3-0 Toyota Motor Valkure (25-20, 25-19, 25-23)
Kagoshima Girls’ High School 3-0 JA Gifu Rioreina (28-26, 26-24, 25-17)
PFU Blue Cats 3-0 Aoyama Gakuin University (25-22, 25-20, 25-23)
Victorina Himeji 3-0 Tohoku Fukushi University (25-21, 26-24, 25-23)
2nd Round Results, December 16, 2017
NEC Red Rockets 3-0 Seiwa Joshi Gakuin High School (25-17, 25-12, 25-16)
Okayama Seagulls 3-1 Ageo Medics (19-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-19)
Toyota Auto Body Queenseis 3-0 Kurobe Aqua Fairies (25-21, 25-18, 25-16)
JT Marvelous 3-1 University of Tsukuba (25-16, 27-29, 25-14, 25-23)
Hitachi Rivale 3-0 Japan Women’s College of Physical Education (25-23, 25-20, 25-12)
Toray Arrows 3-0 Kagoshima Girls’ High School (25-23, 25-15, 25-18)
Denso Airybees 3-2 PFU Blue Cats (25-13, 22-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-12)
Hisamitsu Springs 3-0 Victorina Himeji (25-14, 25-16, 25-22)
Quarterfinal Matches, December 17, 2017
NEC Red Rockets vs. Okayama Seagulls
Toyota Auto Body Queenseis vs. JT Marvelous
Hitachi Rivale vs. Toray Arrows
Denso Airybees vs. Hisamitsu Springs