Hisamitsu Springs celebrate their second consecutive national title in Japan's V.League.
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 14, 2019 - Yet more titles have been decided the past week as club leagues around the world begin to wind down, just in time for the world's elite players to join their national teams ahead of the exciting season starting on May 21 with the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Azerbaijan's Jana Kulan scored an incredible 50 points (plus another 10 in the 'Golden Set') in the second leg of the Japan V.League final, but failed to lead Toray Arrows to dethroning Hisamitsu Springs. Hisamitsu had won the first leg in straight sets, but lost the second 3-2 (29-31, 25-19, 25-23, 23-25, 15-13), to decide the title 25-18 in a 'Golden Set'. It was the second consecutive and seventh overall national title for Hisamitsu Springs.
Risa Nomoto scored 25 points for Hisamitsu in the regular game (plus 4 in the 'Golden Set'), with Yuki Ishii adding 24 (+4) and USA's Foluke Akinradewo, the season's MVP, another 19 (+4).
• Elswhere in women's action, Nataliya Goncharova was top scorer of the game with 27 points for Dinamo Moscow, but Kseniya Parubets scored 25 and Anastasiya Garelik another 24 as Uralochka NTMK Ekaterinburg stunned the defending champions in Moscow 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 19-25, 15-11) in the first match of their Russian Superleague semifinal series.
• Irina Voronkova with 25 points led Lokomotiv Kaliningrad to a 3-2 (25-16, 19-25, 18-25, 25-21, 15-3) over Dinamo Kazan in the opening match of the other best-of-three semifinal series.
• With 15 points from Raphaela Folie, Imoco Volley Conegliano shut out Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo 3-0 (25-20, 26-24, 25-21) to take the best-of-three Italian A1 League quarterfinal series in two matches.
• Also through to the semifinals are Savino Del Bene Scandicci, who beat Epiu Pomi Casalmaggiore 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-18) on the back of 18 points from Sweden's Isabelle Haak and 12 from Bulgaria's Elitsa Vasileva.
• Saugella Team Monza meet Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio and Igor Gorgonzola Novara face Il Bisonte Florence for the remaining semifinal tickets after their quarterfinal series went to third matches.
• Earlier in the week Bruna Honorio and Natalia Pereira scored 15 points each and Gabi Guimaraes added 13, as Itambe Minas Tenis Clube of Belo Horizonte shut out Osasco / Audax 3-1 (25-15, 19-25, 27-25, 25-19) for a ticket to the final of the Brazilian women's Superleague after sealing their best-of-three semifinal series 2-0.
• Dentil / Praia Clube of Uberlandia are the other finalists following a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-14) sweep of Sesi Volei Bauru, in which Fe Garay scored 16 points and USA's Nicole Fawcett another 14 to clinch the series 2-0. The final series begins 21 April with Minas enjoying home advantage.
• In men's action, Ricardo Lucarelli scored 19 points and Lucas Saatkamp 13 (including four stuffs) as Funivc Taubate knocked out defending champions Sada Cruzeiro of Contagem 3-2 (21-25, 36-34, 25-19, 19-25, 15-12) at the Riachao to decide their best-of-five semifinal series in the Brazilian Superleague after only three mathches. It is the first time since 2010 that the three-time world champions will not be in the Superleague final, after clinching the last five titles.
• Poland's Michal Kubiak scored 23 points and was named MVP of the season as he led the Panasonic Panthers to their second consecutive title in Japan's V.League with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-20) win over JT Thunders to close the final series 2-0. China's Liu Libin was JT Thunders' best scorer with 12 points.
• Regular Season leaders Sesi Sao Paulo are the other finalists in the Brazilian Superleague after Alan Souza and Luiz Felipe 'Lipe' Fonteles scored 12 points each in their 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-19) sweep of Sesc Rio de Janeiro that decided their semifinal series also in three matches.
• Serbia's Uros Kovacevic and USA's Aaron Russell with 16 points each inspired Itas Trentino to set the record straight and claim a ticket to the semifinals of the Italian Superleague with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-17) win over Kioene Padova that sealed the best-of-three quarterfinal series 2-1.
• Wilfredo Leon scored 17 points as Regular Season leaders Sir Safety Conad Perugia beat Vero Volley Monza 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-17) in the deciding game for the other remaining semifinal ticket.
• Azimut Leo Shoes Modena (who now face Perugia in the semifinals) and Cucine Lube Civitanova (who play Trentino) had already qualified after sealing their series 2-0.
• Obras de San Juan have tied their final series of the Argentine National League with Bolivar Volley at 1-1 after a 3-2 (25-23, 13-25, 29-27, 21-25, 15-13) win Sunday afternoon. Cubans Jesus Herrera and Yadrian Escobar were best scorers of the game with 27 points for Obras and 22 for Bolivar respectively.
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB.com - Volleyball Nations League
FIVB.com - Volleyball