In Matchday 8 last weekend, Panasonic Panthers and Toyota Gosei Trefuerza met in a battle for 1st place. Toyota had won their first of three meetings this season 3-2 on November 5th. Coming into the match Trefuerza had lost to Suntory in their last match, their first loss on the season, which put Panasonic back in first place on points 19-16 as they were tied at 6-1. This match was won at the net by Panasonic and it was not even close. The Panthers had 19 blocks to 2 for Trefuerza. Kunihiro Shimizu and Kenji Shirasawa each had six blocks, plus Akihiro Yamauchi and Tatsuya Fukuzawa both had three more blocks each. Croatian Igor Omrcen led Trefuerza with 25 ponits (23k, 2a). Shimzu even had 5 aces to give him 25 points (14k) in the match and Polish teammate Michal Kubiak had 11 (7k, 1b, 3a) for the Panthers. The 3-1 win for the Panthers gives them essentially a two win lead with 6 points more than Trefuerza 22-16 and one more win.
All three of the remaining matches were sweeps 3-0. FC Tokyo tried to get their first win, but hitting errors gave Toray Arrows the win. Canadian Gavin Schmitt for Toray and Tokyo’s Yuma Nagatomo led all scorers with 16 points.
JTEKT Stings were looking to end their two-match losing streak against Suntory Sunbirds. The Stings used their blocking advantage (13-6) to defeat the Sunbirds. Bulgarian Matey Kaziyski had 22 points (19k, 3b) for JTEKT, while Cuban Yadian Escobar led Suntory with 17 points (15k, 1b, 1a).
JT Thunders faced the Sakai Blazers, with the Blazers looking to extend their two-match win streak. Australian Thomas Edgar for the Thunders had 25 kills, while Brazilian Wallace Martins had 18 (16k, 1b, 1a) for the Blazers. Wallace did not receive as much spiking help from his teammates as Edgar had, leading to the win for the Thunders.
Results for Matchday 8, November 18-19, 2017
Panasonic Panthers 3-1 Toyota Gosei Trefuerza (20-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-21)
Toray Arrows 3-0 FC Tokyo (25-21, 25-22, 25-22)
JTEKT Stings 3-0 Suntory Sunbirds (26-24, 25-19, 25-21)
JT Thunders 3-0 Sakai Blazers (26-24, 25-19, 25-16)
Schedule for Matchday 9, November 25, 2017
Toyota Gosei Trefuerza vs. Toray Arrows
JTEKT Stings vs. Sakai Blazers
Suntory Sunbirds vs. FC Tokyo
Panasonic Panthers vs. JT Thunders