Japan Women's NT 2021

  • Defense for Japan is never a problem. There is a difference between stops the ball from hitting the floor and digging to use for attack.

    Blocking is a problem. Attacking with shorter players is a problem.
    Japan has never been about the middle and hence the left side of the nets where they attack from. If you know where the ball is going then it is much easier to set up the block and the defense.

    If the setter is in the middle of the court when in the front row, at least the opposition has to decide which one to focus on. Plus still giving the back row a chance or even the setter dump. May suck on the blocking, or only use it on the first ball and then shift.

  • Kurogo is the biggest disappointment so if I were Yoshihara I'd start by sorting out Kurogo's position. She doesn't help in blocking, has bad reception, her serves are no better. Honestly if it helps to humble her they should send her off overseas and see how she fares as the bigshot captain of Toray. Her absence may even help Mayu improve.

  • Blocking is a problem.

    I remembered reading your comment about the merely bad JPN's block when Yamaguchi was still active on national Team. And after all these years, JPN has yet to produce another decent blocker. JPN's block statistic in this tournement was a total disaster, even worse than Rio 2016.

  • Kurogo is the biggest disappointment so if I were Yoshihara I'd start by sorting out Kurogo's position. She doesn't help in blocking, has bad reception, her serves are no better. Honestly if it helps to humble her they should send her off overseas and see how she fares as the bigshot captain of Toray. Her absence may even help Mayu improve.

    You guys had expectations for her in the first place?? Its all Koga/Ishii/Ishikawa

  • You guys had expectations for her in the first place?? Its all Koga/Ishii/Ishikawa

    I mean, not me, I was expecting Nagaoka.


    Besides Kurogo was not bad when she was on the left but on the right it didn't work as well as it should have. Kurogo was much stronger than Koga and Ishii combined. She had a violent vibe then ploop just like that Mayu said Nope, It's me, I'm stronger now (2021)

  • What's so special about Sakai? He had a good run, sure, but Hisamitsu flopped in 2019 with Ishii as cap and they still had Shinnabe and probably did even worse last year. They don't have any rising stars though Araki is showing some good potential. He should focus on pulling Saga out of the gutter first.

    It's just another option laa :whistle:. He's probably not a good match at this point, but we can't ignore the fact he's got some JVA's preferences for this job :rolll:.

    • User to coach Saga: :thumbup:
    • National title: another another :thumbup:, and he got 2 - 1 with Saga and 1 with Osaka Blazer.
    • Had a history with JVA and national team: more :thumbup:

    You guys had expectations for her in the first place?? Its all Koga/Ishii/Ishikawa

    Savage :rolll:

    When I googled Tomoko Yoshihara you get headlines from her being the captain and winning against Poland and other countries but what was her position? was she a setter?

    She was the best JPN MB in the 90s.

  • Defense for Japan is never a problem. There is a difference between stops the ball from hitting the floor and digging to use for attack.

    Blocking is a problem. Attacking with shorter players is a problem.
    Japan has never been about the middle and hence the left side of the nets where they attack from. If you know where the ball is going then it is much easier to set up the block and the defense.

    If the setter is in the middle of the court when in the front row, at least the opposition has to decide which one to focus on. Plus still giving the back row a chance or even the setter dump. May suck on the blocking, or only use it on the first ball and then shift.

    MB is a shortcoming, a problem. How to improve? Get a coach who insists on it, and a setter/MB team that you don't just slap together a few weeks before a tournament. Make them work together like mad.


    Height? Ebata 176cm, Sakoda 175cm. The Kurogo and Koga are 180, what is the magic number? Mayu is 173 or 4 and she didn't do too bad. Nagaoka was 180 but I think she would have been as successful at 173 :) It's not like she was hitting over the block. YOLO can jump as high as her. Saori was unto herself. I'm not holding my breath for another 185cm player who can attack and receive like her, not to mention her good vibes.


    This isn't like that baseball movie: "Build it and they will come" kind of thing where if Japan changes their game to the modern offensive power game (whatever it's called) ... taller players will just come along. They are short. It's been millennia in the making and not going to change through wishful thinking. They need to adapt their game to what they have, not to what we might wish they had.


    "There is a difference between stops the ball from hitting the floor and digging to use for attack." If Bosco fires one into zone 1 and the defensive player can't handle it, things move on. You don't see the body language of the whole team slouch, and there's no pointing fingers. But these silly balls that land in front of the 3 point line spread toxic bad vibes all over. They are debilitating. Every player looks at the others like "?". I think that's huge. Japan have to fix and eliminate that.


    Japan did up their back court play a bit and it was mildly helpful. More of that, please. But where was the combination game? Nowhere. You are spot on right that Japan can't play a predictable left side game. They need middles, combination play, back court attacks and an OP who can and will attack in zone 3.

  • There's another strong spiker in Okayama Seagulls who might be half-Black? I'm not sure. I can't remember her name or jersey number. Not an opp but I think she's one of their scorers

    Aoi An Furukawa. We already covered her :) kinda. She's wonderful, except you hold your breath when she's going to pass the ball. She could improve that, though

  • Araki won the best MB award in Beijing 2008 but I haven’t watched that edition so 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

    Really? Ahead of Walewska & Fabiana? And Gioli? 😱 I watched most of the match but I can’t remember any match of Japan’s. The only I remember was against Brazil because of Mari’s service run and Araki was kinda meh there as well.

  • Really? Ahead of Walewska & Fabiana? And Gioli? 😱 I watched most of the match but I can’t remember any match of Japan’s. The only I remember was against Brazil because of Mari’s service run and Araki was kinda meh there as well.

    I think you’re right about Araki being meh there as well. On wikipedia there’s this table (see images) and Araki listed as the best MB.


    But on the FIVB players’ ranking by skills Araki is 40th.

  • Setter is going to be interesting and important coming up.


    No dis to Momii or Seki but I'd like to see a non-Nakada picked setter, just for kicks


    Matsui is a name I think most people here are familiar with. I like her, a lot, and think she will be in the mix but I dunno.


    A few others less familiar:


    Manami Mandai. She was the Golden Girl setter in college for 4 years. Very frenetic and nervy. She won a couple championships, and she did it with middle-blockers. The 2019 CH was MVP and best MB Haruka Maruo. The MB in 2020 CH was non-playing NEC member now Moeka Kinoe. She was best scorer and best spiker. That's crazy! It's not like she was great, but Mandai knew how to use her, in large quantity. What I've seen of Mandai with SAGA so far hasn't been impressive, so time will tell.


    Hitomi Shiode. No awards or Championships at Uni, and only an Asian Cup as far as NT. Something about her strikes me. She doesn't decide her play ahead of time. Often it looks like "Oh, you're here. Okay, hit this". She will likely show up in V1 this December. Or not. Maybe she goes 9-ball. Lots of good setters there. She's 175cm and likes to block


    Tsukasa Nakagawa. Her work with World Champ 2019 U20 was brilliant. She's 159cm so it ain't gonna happen :(


    Nonoka Yamazaki. Saitama's setter. I don't think many know her name. I had to look it up just now to be sure. She did very good work last year. Will be interesting to see if she keeps playing now that Tominaga is back.

  • Has Japan ever had good MB? Never though of Araki as a good MB.

    I think you’re right about Araki being meh there as well. On wikipedia there’s this table (see images) and Araki listed as the best MB.


    But on the FIVB players’ ranking by skills Araki is 40th.

    Araki was great for JPN MB standard. Her performance was quite inconsistent with national Team, especially after coming back to duty in 2016. Yet in V-league, she has always been on top since her debut in 2003.


    The link wargirls included above is for London 2012, not Beijing 2008. Araki had a string of kill blocks (~10 IIRC) on the match with Venezuela, and that's probably why she's got the best block rate.


    JPN produced a lot of decent MBs in attacking back then. Even the great Tomoko Yoshihara was cut off from national Team due to being too old for Olympic at 25-26ish. Sometimes in 00s, they did attempt to switch a few MBs to OPP coz Shin did not attack from back row while those MBs could do that at ease lol.


    However, when it's come to outstanding blocking skill, their very last solid MB is Kaori Inoue. She was a force to reckon in 2009 and 2010, being the only JPN MB to produce 10 kill blocks in a match against top tier Teams. And she did it more than twice. Unfortunately, she could never play that awesome again due to the knee injury in 2011.


    Nonoka Yamazaki. Saitama's setter. I don't think many know her name. I had to look it up just now to be sure. She did very good work last year. Will be interesting to see if she keeps playing now that Tominaga is back.

    I like this girl's connection and timing with Santiago, rarely failed.

  • JPN produced a lot of decent MBs in attacking back then. Even the great Tomoko Yoshihara was cut off from national Team due to being too old for Olympic at 25-26ish. Sometimes in 00s, they did attempt to switch a few MBs to OPP coz Shin did not attack from back row while those MBs could do that at ease lol.


    However, when it's come to outstanding blocking skill, their very last solid MB is Kaori Inoue. She was a force to reckon in 2009 and 2010, being the only JPN MB to produce 10 kill blocks in a match against top tier Teams. And she did it more than twice. Unfortunately, she could never play that awesome again due to the knee injury in 2011.

    This is all before my time. I'm familiar with Kaori Inoue from watching a few golden era youtubes. But who is this Shin? I think I know who you are talking about from old clips. There was a couple tough cookies. One was a MB that beri alerted me to, Sugiyama. But since I wasn't around then and the video archives are kinda crummy it's a blank zone, mostly.


    Also, I usually just write off the blocking part of a MB :) and only think about them scoring (or not). I should be more realistic


    This is a cool photo from 2003 World cup. Seeing Saori with Yoshihara (Kurihara, Sano and Takeshita, too). And I'm embarrassed to say I know the setter there, #2 Chie Tsuji, as the Director of the Yamanashi Central Bank Sporting Bears :rolll:


  • Yoshihara's former teammate, Motoko Obayashi, said JT is a goofy team that doesn't overthink situations. Momii is clearly a fave there's no denying that, Tanaka seems to be one of her faves too. The girl beside Tanaka on the left is the team clown, I don't know her name but she also gets along well with Drews.