Saturday (Oct. 21) and Sunday (Oct. 22) was the opening weekend for the Japanese women’s V.League Premier League. Two matches were played on each day in Sendai at the Zebio Arena. In the first match on Saturday, it was a rematch of last year’s final between the NEC Red Rockets and Hisamitsu Springs. Hisamitsu dominated the match 3-0, and it was not even close. Hisamitsu outspiked NEC (48-27), outblocked (9-0) and outserved (6-0). Foluke Akinradewo in her first match for Hisamitsu lead scorers with 20 points (14 k, 3b, 3a). Yuki Ishii for Hisamitsu also had 16 points (13 k, 3b), while Sarina Koga led the Red Rockets with 8 points, all kills.
In the second match on Saturday it was the two newly promoted teams battling Ageo Medics vs. Denso Airybees. This was a closely fought match as neither team won a set by more than 4 points. Ageo depended on Kenia Carcaces to get help them him 3-1. Carcaces had 30 points, (27k, 3a) for Ageo, while German Christiane Faust had 16 points (12k, 4b) for Denso.
On Sunday, the first match was between Hitachi Rivale and JT Marvelous. JT came from a 2-set deficit to take the match to a deciding fifth set. The fifth set went to extra points, which JT won 16-14. Serbian Brankica Mihajlovic of JT led all scores with 32 points, (29k, 1b, 2a). Hitachi’s offense which was set by national team setter Miya Sato, was evenly distributed with 4 players having 13+ kills. Megumi Kurihara led Hitachi with 21 points (18k, 2b, 1a) and American Cursty Jackson led the team with 6 blocks. Mai Okumura for JT also had six blocks to go with 8 kills for 14 points.
The last match of the weekends was between Toyota Auto Body Queenseis and Toray Arrows. Could Toray win without Saori Kimura and Saori Sakoda? The answer on Sunday was no. The Queenseis handled Toray easily to sweep 3-0. Paulina Rahimova’s replacement for Toyota Neriman Ozsoy did well in her first match with 23 points (21k, 1b, 1a). Queenseis’ Erika Araki was her normal blocking self with 6 blocks. Toray’s high school superstar Ai Kurogo played in her first match and led her team with 13 points (12k, 1b). Toray’s American Kadie Rolfzen had 9 points (7k, 1b, 1a) in her debut.
Results for October 21, 2017
Hisamitsu 3-0 NEC (25-14, 25-19, 25-9)
Ageo 3-1 Denso (25-22, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22)
Results for October 22, 2017
JT Marvelous 3-2 Hitachi (23-25, 15-25, 28-26, 25-16, 16-14)
Toyota Auto Body 3-0 Toray (25-19, 25-13, 25-22)
Team, Points, Wins, Sets Won-Sets Lost
- Hisamitsu Springs 3, 1, 3-0 *Better Points Ratio
- Toyota Auto Body Queenseis 3, 1, 3-0
- Ageo Medics 3, 1, 3-1
- JT Marvelous 2, 1, 3-2
- Hitachi Rivale 1, 0, 2-3
- Denso Airybees 0, 0, 1-3
- Toray Arrows 0, 0, 0-3 * Better Points Ratio
- NEC Red Rockets 0, 0, 0-3
Schedule for October 28, 2017
Hisamitsu vs. JT
Denso vs. Toray
NEC vs. Ageo
Hitachit vs. Toyota Auto Body