(UPDATED) The Saitama Ageo Medics could not complete a comeback, falling in five sets to the Denso Airybees in the 2021-22 season of the V.League Women's Division 1 on Sunday afternoon at the KitaGas Arena in Sapporo.
Filipina import Jaja Santiago was superb in the fifth set but her efforts weren't enough, as the Airybees came away with a 26-24, 25-23, 23-25, 18-25, 15-11 triumph.
The loss snapped the Ageo Medics' brief two-game winning streak and kept them from sweeping the Denso this weekend. Saitama now has a 5-5 win-loss record, while Denso improved to 7-3.
Santiago scored 23 points on 18 kills, four blocks, and an ace, while Mami Uchiseto had 15 points, 13 of which came on kills.
The Ageo Medics overcame a 0-2 hole to force a deciding fifth set, and a crosscourt attack by Yuka Sato put them on board to start Set 5.
But Roslandy Acosta and Yuki Hyodo took charge for Denso, with Hyodo firing a hit off the Saitama blockers for a 2-2 count. She added two more kills, and Mami Yakota came through with a huge block of Uchiseto to help the Airybees zoom to a 6-2 advantage.
Denso took control, 9-4, off an Acosta hit before Santiago's re-entry fired up the Ageo Medics. The Filipina scored on a quick hit in the middle and rejected an Acosta hit, forcing Denso to call a timeout as their lead dropped to three points, 9-6.
Another Santiago hit made it a two-point game, 11-9, but the middle blocker rotated out at that point and the Airybees were able to pull away anew.
Hyodo and Fumika Moriya scored off crosscourt attacks, the Ageo Medics committed a net violation, and Rei Kudo fired an ace for a 14-10 advantage.
Sato saved a match point for Saitama, but Acosta was unstoppable as she scored the winner that allowed Denso to wrap up the match in two hours and 17 minutes.
Hyodo finished with 20 points, all on kills, while Acosta had 18 points.
The Ageo Medics will try to bounce back next week against Toyota Auto Body (0-10).