The Japanese Men’s V-League has had strict regulation on the number of foreigners that a team may sign to their roster. That number is only one foreigner per team. As is often the case in the Japanese and Korean leagues, that foreigner is the primary focus of the offense and the player more often than not is figured to be an opposite.
This year’s V-League may feature the highest scoring foreigners ever to play in a single league. I have tracked the players who have scored 30 points or more in a club match across many leagues around the world (over 2,600 times has it happened). Currently, Gavin Schmitt is the leader with 81 times over 30 points. Seven times he has scored more than 50 points. The majority of those were during his time with the Samsung Bluefangs in the Korean League. This week he signed with the Toray Arrows men’s team, replacing Nikola Gjorgiev. With this signing, could see that Toray was looking to repeat as champions.
JT Thunders before that had made a major signing by bringing in Australian Thomas Edgar. Edgar was the first player to score 50 points in an international match during the 2015 FIVB Cup in Japan.
Edgar also scored over 50 in a club match with 51 in 2013. He is the only player to have 50 in an international and club match. He ranks 8th with 32 times over 30 points in a club match, again by playing in Korea with LIG Greaters, now KB Stars.
Toyota Gosei Trefuerza’s Igor Omrcen is now in his sixth season in Japan. This year will be his fourth with Toyota, while he played previously for JT Thunders in 2012-2014. Omrcen is 3rd on list of player with more than 30 points in a club match with 68 times.
FC Tokyo’s Milan Pepic is tied for 9th with Robertlandy Simon at 31 times. Pepic is also in this sixth season in Japan, four with Sakai Blazers and two with FC Tokyo. The majority of 30 point matches were with Sakai. Pepic did play in Korea for one season 2011-2012 with LIG and had 4 matches over 30 points.
These four don’t even take into account J-TEKT Stings’ Matey Kaziyski (9 times), Suntory Sunbirds’ Yadrian Escobar Silva (8 times), Panasonic’s Michal Kubiak (once) and Sakai’s Wallace Martins (16 times).
As volleyball fans, we might not get to watch much of the Japanese league due to time difference and travel to the country. However, if you want to watch some competitive one-on-one spiking battles, the V-League will provide plenty of action this season.