Russia claim final victory in sweep of Japan to reach podium


Nataliya Goncharova again paced Russia in their victory over Japan

Omaha, USA, July 26, 2015 – Russia, battling for a spot on the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals Round podium, swept Japan 25-11, 25-19, 25-18 in the last match of the tournament being held in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

Nataliya Goncharova, the leading scorer in the tournament, ended the match with 23 points and Yana Shcherban contributed 13 points. Japan’s Saori Sakoda scored a team-high 11 points, while Sarina Koga added eight points. Russia out-blocked Japan 11-3.

Russia ended the tournament 3-2 and with the silver medal, while Japan was winless in five matches fo the six-team round-robin event.

Russia started quickly with an 8-1 advantage and stretched their lead to 13-4 with Goncharova and Pasynkova providing the firepower. The Europeans kept charging to the end, going up 23-10 with three out of four points coming on blocks. Russia took the first set 25-11 on an Orlova block. Russia scored four aces and three blocks in the set.

Shcherban converted two attacks as part of a 5-0 Russia swing that broke a 9-all tie. Russia reached set points at 24-17 on a Shcherban kill. After Japan saved two set points, Goncharova scored the final point for a 25-19 victory.

Russia built an early 9-4 lead in the third set. Russia’s momentum carried them to a 14-7 advantage. The European kept the pressure up and won 25-18.


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