Sarina Koga produced 19 points for Japan's 3-0 win over Cuba in the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup at the Yoyogi National Stadium on Monday
Koga topped all scorers with 19 points, while Miyu Nagaoka added 14 points for Japan. Cubans Sulian Caridad Matienzo Linares and Alena Rojas Orta scored 10 and nine points, respectively.
Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe opted for Mami Uchiseto, Mai Yamaguchi, Haruka Miyashita and Koga to start in the opening set, instead of his usual starters Saori Kimura, Yuki Ishii, Haruyo Shimamura and Chizuru Kotoh. After an intense exchange of attacks, Japan were able to pull through mid-set as Koga notched seven points to lead the hosts against Cuba 16-12. Japan extended their lead further and secured the first set win 25-15 as Cuba struggled on their attacks.
Japan sustained their energy from the first set and jumped to a 6-1 advantage in the second set. Japan’s floor defence forced the Cuban attackers to work harder for their points, while Koga took care of their offence that commanded a 19-9 advantage. Japan took the second set 25-12 on Koga’s attack line swing. Japan still took control of the third set as Koga got a bit of luck on the final serve that just dropped on the Cuban court 25-16.