Volleyball: Santiago, Ageo Medics make quick work of Kurobe

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2022 02:51 PM


The Saitama Ageo Medics showed poise under pressure en route to a straight-sets victory over the Kurobe AquaFairies, Sunday at the Saitama City Memorial Gymnasium.

Jaja Santiago came up with a clutch hit in the second set to help the Ageo Medics register a 25-14, 26-24, 25-12 victory, completing a weekend sweep of the AquaFairies. 

The Ageo Medics have now won five of their last six games in the 2021-22 season of the V.League, hiking their record to 10-6.

On Saturday, Saitama had rebounded from a letdown in the second set to overcome Kurobe, 25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-19.

The team appeared headed for another poor second set on Sunday afternoon, after the AquaFairies rallied from a slow start that saw them trail 10-3 early on. A hit by Kurobe middle blocker Aya Hosonuma knotted the count at 23, but Mako Shiina responded with an attack of her own to put Saitama at set point, 24-23.

An error by the Ageo Medics led to the last deadlock of the set, 24-all, as Santiago unleashed a powerful hit that gave Saitama its second set point, 25-24. An offspeed hit by Brazilian import Lorenne Teixeira fooled the Kurobe defense and won the set for the Ageo Medics.

With momentum on their side, Saitama cruised to victory in the third frame. The Ageo Medics won in an hour and 16 minutes.

Santiago finished with 10 points on six kills and four blocks, while Yuka Sato accounted for 15 points and Mami Uchiseto had 13 kills, 3 aces, and a kill block for an all-around performance. 

Teixeira went 7-of-22 on kills and finished with eight points.

Thai import Pimpichaya Kokram led Kurobe with 11 points on 10 kills and an ace.

The Ageo Medics' next game is on January 29 against the Victorina Himeji (4-11) at the Victorina Wink Gymnasium.

Their games against the NEC Red Rockets set for January 22 and 23 have been cancelled, after an official of the NEC squad returned a positive COVID-19 result.