MANILA – Japan pulled off a 3-0 (25-4, 25-11, 25-15) victory over Australia to sweep Pool B in the preliminary round of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup for Women at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City on Thursday.
Outside hitters Yuki Nishikawa, Mizuki Tanaka and Miyu Nakagawa finished with double figures for the Japanese team, which needed only 72 minutes to wrap up the match.
Nishikawa had 13 spikes, two blocks and three service aces while Tanaka contributed 10 spikes and six service aces. Nakagawa added 11 points, including nine attacks.
"We only had little time to prepare for this competition with this team but we did great and we're happy for that," said Nishikawa through an interpreter when asked to comment on Japan's three wins.
Japan is expected to keep its momentum in the quarterfinal round which will start on Saturday. The tournament will take a break on Friday.
"We're enjoying the game, we're getting better every game. In the end, we want to win this competition. We want to be a champion," said Nishikawa, adding that China is their biggest challenge for the title.
Outside hitter Khiani Garton-Dodd scored seven points for Australia, which absorbed its third straight loss and stayed at the bottom of Pool B.
Thailand defeated Chinese Taipei, 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-16), last Wednesday to notch its second win in three outings and keep the No. 2 spot behind Japan.
Chinese Taipei, on the other hand, is in third place with a 1-2 win-loss slate. Vietnam is currently on top of Pool A after completing its preliminary round assignments on Wednesday.
Defending champion China, which is in second place with a 3-0 win-loss card, will be facing Iran in its last preliminary round match.
Iran and the Philippines are tied for third place with identical 1-2 records.
The Philippines, which pulled off a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-14) win over Iran last Wednesday, has one more match in the preliminary round -- against Korea, which has a 0-3 win-loss record. (PNA)