July 22, 2024

VNL: Yuki Ishikawa, Japan buck Ran Takahashi’s absence, fend off Netherlands for bounce-back win

VNL: Yuki Ishikawa, Japan buck Ran Takahashi’s absence, fend off Netherlands for bounce-back win
Yuki Ishikawa steers Japan past Netherlands. | Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

Japan did not need Ran Takahashi to thwart the skidding Netherlands, 25-18, 25-19, 25-20, in the 2024 Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Manila leg at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday night, June 21.

Coming off a five-set loss to Canada last Tuesday, the Ryujin Nippon regained their winning form, even without Takahashi, who has been ruled out for the remainder of Week 3 due to undisclosed circumstances.

Yuki Ishikawa came through with 15 points built on 12 attacks, two aces and a block for the Japanese, who hiked its record to 7-3 for sixth place in the standings.


[RELATED STORY: Japan's Ran Takahashi ruled out for remainder of 2024 VNL Manila Leg]

Japan barely felt the star outside hitter's absence as Kentaro Takahashi and Ishikawa picked up the slack right from the get go. This allowed the Asians to seize control early on, mounting a 2-0 set cushion.

The Dutchmen played with a sense of urgency in the third frame, unloading a balanced offensive thrust for a 12-8 lead. However, Yuji Nishida went on a tear as he scored six points in an 8-0 spurt to build a 16-12 edge

Ishikawa then took the scoring baton and steered Ryujin Nippon to a 24-17 advantage.

Netherlands managed to save three match points, but Ishikawa slammed the door shut with a backrow bomb.


Nishida carried the cudgels as well with 16 points on 10 attacks, three blocks and three aces, while Tatsunori Otsuka and Kentaro pitched in eight markers apiece.

On the other hand, the Netherlands could not snap out of its funk, enduring its fifth straight loss in as many matches.

Maarten Van Garderen was the lone double digit scorer for the losing side with 10 points.

Nimir Abdel-Aziz, who breached the 30-point threshold the past two outings, only managed seven markers.

Japan will aim to carry over momentum when it takes on France, while Netherlands will try to arrest its skid when it takes on streaking Canada on Saturday, June 22, at the same venue.

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