Rosario, Argentina, August 25, 2017 - With 14 points of Polina Shemanova and 13 stuff blocks, Russia wore out the Japanese defence and earned a 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 32-30) victory to become the third team qualified to FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship semifinals.
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Side to side with Shemanova was Valeriya Shevchuk with 11 points, while middle-blockers Victoriia Pushina and Irina Soboleva crafted 8 of the total 13 successful blocks of the European champions. Despite those amazing numbers, the most prolific scorer of the game was on the other end of the court as Japan’s Haruna Soga finished with 18 points. Yuki Nishikawa chipped in with 12 of her own.
Russia forced Japan to trail due to their might and physical conditions, and although the Asian side used their defence to reduce the gap, it was only to 24-22 as Russia clinched the first set right after. Japan advanced 10-12 on the next set, but Soboleva and Shemanova shifted the course of the game to 17-14 and precisely a block, Russia’s main feature, set the 25-19. The third chapter showed a courageous Japan still digging and countering, as Nonaka sparked a 23-20 lead, but Russia disabled all the set balls, stepped ahead and won the game 32-30.