USA setter Courtney Thompson celebrates with libero Nicole Davis
Montreux, Switzerland, May 28, 2014 - USA took their second consecutive victory at the Montreux Volley Masters defeating Japan in straight sets 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-20) to maintain their Pool B lead at the Pierrier Omnisports Hall on Wednesday.
Arisa Inoue top scored for Japan with 13 points but could not overwhelm the strong American team led by TeTori Dixon, who scored 12 points.
The Japanese team did not bring all their big stars in Switzerland but the team nonetheless wanted to prove that they are ready for the important season, as the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship approaches.
USA coach Karch Kiraly made some key changes in his lineup that allowed most of his players to play in the match. Ebony Nwanebu was the only remaining player from the starting six lineup in the Germany match the other day. Nevertheless, the world No. 2 started smoothly in the first set. Japan tried to score on quick plays but where outplayed by their opponents in their tipping game. As a consequence, Masayoshi Manabe's young team lost the first set 25-17.
The Japanese side fought hard in the second set. The Asians added more pressure on the Americans by their well-played rallies and incredible defence. The match remained tight until USA took charge of the set on their strong offence to secure the second set 25-22.
After the losses in the first two sets, the Japanese already felt the pressure as the London 2012 Olympic bronze medallists started to strugge on their own service game, giving USA the lead. Japan tried to get back in the match but Kiraly's team cruised to close the third set 25-20.
USA will be seeing action against the Dominican Republic on Friday. Japan will face Dominican Republic on Thursday. Both teams have lost their first match and will have a do-or-die match.