Japan defeated China in straight sets on Monday to claim its seventh title in the Asia Girls’ U18 Volleyball Championship.
Japan also won its sixth straight title in a row in the Asia Girls’ Championship after its 3-0 route of the host nation 25-16, 25-9, 32-30.
“It seemed like an easy game but it was actually not,” Japanese coach Daichi Saegusa said in an FIVB press release. “The height of Chinese players caused a lot of pressure and we tried to score points from serving.”
Japan outlasted China in the first two sets, in what seemed like a dominant run for the top of the podium at the No.8 Secondary School Gymnasium in Chongqing, China.
China fought back in the third set and led Japan at the second technical timeout 16-14.
The defending champions turned back their Chinese foes as Japan was the first to breach the 20-point mark at 20-18.
Both squads traded points in the dying minutes before Japan advanced to match point at 31-30 before Yuki Nishikawa’s spike that sealed her team’s successful title defense.
Nishikawa finished with a game-high 19 points for Japan. She also won the Most Valuable Player and the Best Outside Spiker awards.
Soga haruna led China with 17 points, while Sun Xiaoxuan contributed 12 points.
Both Japan and China disposed of their foes differently to book their ticket to the finals.
The reigning champions, who never dropped a set in the tournament, outgunned Thailand 25-8, 25-12, 25-19.
Japan almost doubled the output of Thailand in spikes with 41 and 21 points, respectively.
On the other hand, China recovered a 0-2 setback against Korea in a grueling 19-25, 14-25, 25-23, 25-19, 15-13 match which lasted for 120 minutes.
Meanwhile, Korea swept Thailand for the bronze medal 25-17, 25-17, 28-26 to round up the top three.
All four teams have qualified at the FIVB Volleyball 2017 Girls’ U18 World Championship in Argentina in August.