08 August, 2012
The most exciting match ever
Even from my tiny laptop, atmosphere of the team was clearly different to usual. I was able to see their concentration and determination from their expression.
The match was absolutely competitive. China took advance usually. Japan won 1set but China retrieved 2nd. This intensive momentum remained until 4th set.
At the final set, Japan arrived at 8 point firstly, which is a half way to 15 point, with 2 points ahead. However, it was not so easy. China has got 3 points in a row and made 1 point lead soon. After this, Japan recovered and reached to the match point by 14-13. Since then, China chased considerably. They made 2 points in a row and achieved their match point. But Japan was much more powerful. They caught up soon and equalise the game. Finally, Japan got a win by 18-16, especially services by Hitomi Nakamich were effective.
Not only their atmosphere but strategies of the coach was remarkable. Because, the coach changed starting line ups for middle blockers and wing spikers. Erika Araki who is a captain of the team was on instead of Kaori Inoue. And also Yukiko Ebata was a starter for Saori Sakoda. These particular players were regularly on the bench until the match against China.
In particular Yukiko Ebata has got 31 points in 5 sets, which was the second highest score of the team. Therefore, tactics by the coach Masayoshi Manabe has got the point accurately.
Teams and their performances should not be monotonous. Surprises are required from time to time. Otherwise they might see exactly the same outcome. This is the main thing of strategies.