Japan outlasted Dominican Republic in the tie-break set to gain third place after the third round in the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup at the Yoyogi National Stadium on Thursday
Both squads sized up each other at the start of the first set but Dominican Republic ended on top of a very long rally with a 4-2 lead. Dominican Republic played exceptional defence that extended the rallies but Japan’s well-placed spikes formed enough cushion to secure the first set 25-18. Dominican Republic retaliated with a 10-6 lead but two service aces by Koga bridged the gap 10-8. The Dominican attackers were aggressively protected their lead and with a couple of successful hits, they obtained victory in the second set 25-20.
In the third set, Japan and Dominican Republic had a close battle but the latter managed to get out of it with a 23-18 advantage. Defence played a big part late in the set as Japan scored a 5-0 run to tie the score at 23-all. Dominican Republic outlasted Japan 32-30 in the third set on Rivera’s spike and service ace. Japan mounted a 20-12 lead in the fourth set from their solid defence, then after completing five successful plays, the home team closed the set 25-15.
Japan and Dominican Republic refused to go down in the fifth set which resulted to a tied ballgame at 6-all. Japan somehow managed to execute an excellent attack pattern that gave them a 9-6 advantage that forced Dominican Republic coach Marcos Kwiek to call a timeout. Dominican Republic managed to level the score at 11-all but Japan surfaced on top with a 15-13 win.