Xuancheng, China, July 2, 2016 - The FIVB Volleyball World League Pool H2 match between Slovakia and Japan resulted in a four-set victory for Slovakia - 3-1 (25-18, 25-21, 24-26, 25-22).
Kunihiro Shimizu top scored for Japan with 21 points. Peter Mlynarcik and Matej Patak both led Slovakia with 20 points each.
This was the first ever World League encounter between Slovakia and Japan.
In the opening set both teams traded early points until Slovakia pulled away to a 10-7 lead and managed to keep control of the game and break free from the slim advantage to a 23-16 lead, eventually finishing the set off at 25-18.
Set 2 started with an even play as Slovakia were able to find a way to get things done leading by 16-13. With fierce attacks and solid defense at the net, Japan battled back and was able to lead by 18-17. However, Japan could not capitalize on this momentum and dropped the set after a faulty reception. Slovakia closed the set at 25-21.
In the third set the rhythm of the match went in favour of the Japanese team and they led by 8-4 at the first technical time-out. Using their block to neutralize the Japanese attacks, Slovakia began to chip away at the Japanese lead and eventually tied the score at 15-15. Both teams traded points towards the end of the set, which was finally closed by Japan at 26-24.
In set 4 Slovakia were determined to mount a comeback. However, Japan were not going to go down easily and closed Slovakia’s leads each time late in the set and eventually led the set by 16-15 at the second technical time-out. After a formidable spike, Slovakia won the set by 25-22, and the match by three sets to one.