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AVC Cup 2022 Champs – Team Japan

Aug 31, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Japan wins the first AVC Cup for Women, denying China a four streak win.

In a highly tense Monday evening match at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City, Japan defeated former three-time defending champions China in four sets, 25-23, 25-21, 19-25, 25-16, to win the AVC Cup for Women for the first time ever. 

A winner-take-all match between the reigning champion China and Japan took place to decide who won the 2022 AVC Cup for Women.

China defeated a valiant Thailand team in their semifinal match on Sunday, winning 19-25, 25-20, 25-14, 23-25, and 15-10 to advance to its sixth finals appearance in the competition.

However, Japan bounced back from a difficult third-set defeat to defeat Vietnam, 25-17, 25-22, 34-36, 25-10, to claim the last championship ticket. 

For the second time since 2018, the Chinese and Japanese compete for the AVC Cup title. China has won all six of its games, while Japan is 5-0 going into the gold medal match. Both teams are unbeaten. 

Mizuki Tanaka, who led the charge for Japan in the semifinals with 21 points, was heavily relied upon. In the third set, Tran Thi Thanh Thuy scored 16 of her game-high 29 points, but Yuki Nishikawa scored 19 points and middle blocker Hiroyo Yamanaka had six blocks to finish with 14 points. 

Hinotori Nippon had to turn to a longtime supporter to win this ground-breaking title.

“I am so grateful for this first championship, especially since we won this all together so that was really great.” – Japanese Team Captain Mika Shibata(Setter)

Miwako Osanai triumphed in the final set, displaying the talent that helped her win one of the Best Outside Hitter awards in the previous competition in 2018. The prolific striker totaled 15 goals on 14 attempts and an ace of service, 10 of which came in the fourth.

Hinotori Nippon had to turn to a longtime supporter to win this ground-breaking title.

For the freshly crowned champions, Mizuki Tanaka played admirably the entire match, finishing with 19 points on 17 spikes and two service aces. 

In fact, Japan had a perfect start as they reverted to their typical strategy of solid serves while the opposition’s passing hampered counterattacks. To keep the first two sets close, China’s defense, in particular at the net, eventually caught up to Japan. 

However, the white shirts discovered their weaknesses and took both sets for themselves. 

China mounted a significant third-set comeback and would not allow the crown to slide so lightly because they had other ideas.

Unexpectedly struggling on its defensive lines, Japan was defeated by China, who pounded the floor for a commanding 16-10 lead. Although Japan made an effort to retaliate, middle blocker Wang Wenhan stopped the frame and precipitated the fight for fourth place. 

The former champions were led by opposite hitter Zhou Yetong, who finished with 14 points on 11 spikes and three blocks. 13 markers were contributed by Zhuang Yushan, 10 of which came from attacks and 3 from blocks.

After they won the Cup, setter and captain Mika Shibata was overcome with emotion. She is the presupposed MVP of the tournament.

Ms. Shibata expresses, “Despite the lack of preparation, we did really great that we have all the top players in the Japanese V.League and we were able to highlight everyone’s excellence. So, that’s what’s good about our team.” 

Scores at the end of the Match

Japan with  3 set wins

China with 1 set win

Scores per set

1st set – 25-23

2nd  set – 25-21

3rd set – 19-25

4th and Final Set for the Tournament – 25-16 in favor of the Japanese

Match win and tournament champion spot goes to Team Japan.

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