Younger force like Watanabe, Yanagisawa and Egashira showed their presence on the court to encourage the squad.

3rd days of KUROWASHIKI was against Sakai Blazers. STINGS, who already secured their position to the Knock-Out Stage, went into the game with a different line-up. The Setter Watanabe made a debut of the official match. Hakamaya started as the Opposite. There were Kaziyski and K.Takahashi for the outsides. Kanamaru and Hirose were the Middle Blockers.
STINGS gained the momentum in the beginning. Hirose made an ace, followed by an attack from Kaziyski after a long rally. STINGS scored 3 points in a row with an ace from Kaziyski and a kill block from K.Takahashi at 4-3. Hakamaya made an attack from right side to 8-4.
Even after the technical time-out, STINGS kept their rhythm. Kanamaru made a series of points with his aces. Hirose followed with his blocking. The Setter Watanabe made a stable distribution. Kaziyski won a side-out at the important moment. The Libero Honma chased the balls showing his spirit. STINGS maintained their momentum even the score was closed by 2 points. The game was going on with constant side-outs. In the end of the set, S.Takahashi and Furuta came in. K.Takahashi gifted the set point with his attack. Hirose closed this set in 25-22, with his quick attack.

However, STINGS struggled with counterattack from Sakai Blazers. The Head Coach Masunari called a time-out when the score became 0-4. But it couldn’t change the rhythm and their behind got bigger in 2-10.
At the score of 3-11, Yanagisawa replaced Kaziyski. In the middle of this set, the Opposite Egashira came in. Younger player encouraged the team on the court. Egashira scored the 9th point. Watanabe came back in the court. STINGS made a point with higher blockers. Although losing this set in 11-25 in huge behind, there was a great asset to find the fresh power.

The 3rd set was opened with a kill block from Hirose. Kaziyski made a kill, followed by K.Takahashi. At the score of 5-7, Furuta came in as the Opposite. Kaziyski made a deadly back-row attack.
STINGS lost 4 points in a row in the middle of the set, due to rough reception, but could be regrouped with a new force, S.Takahashi, followed by Yanagisawa, who came in the court. STINGS was chasing by 3 points. However, Sakai Blazers used a time-out in a good way to finish this set in 19-25. The game was at 1-2, in favor of the opponent.

The experienced players came in the court in the 4th set, which are K.Takahashi, Kanamaru, Furuta, Kaziyski, Hirose, and S.Takahashi, in order of service. Honma stayed on the court as the Libero.
It was K.Takahashi that rose up on the court. He won a break point by blocking at the score of 3-3, followed by a sharp attack from the left side. He also made an ace on the line at 7-7. Even though chasing after losing 3 consecutive points, STING showed their spirit with attacks from Kaziyski and Furuta. Hirose also made a quick attack. Kaziyski delivered a skillful tip. Sakai Blazers called a time-out at 19-21 right after an ace from Kaziyski.
The game was closed by an ace from the opponent, which was 21-25. STINGS lost this game in 1-3.

What’s important is how to go into the Knock-Out Stage from tomorrow. Younger players tried communication on the court to encourage the team. Experienced players showed their spirit. Every single player did their role on the court. They are well-prepared to win the semi-final.
“We would like to show our style of volleyball from tomorrow. We should concentrate on every single point and showed our fighting spirit”, said the Head Coach Masunari with full of spirit. It’s going to be the climax of this season.

Sakai Blazers
First set 25 - 22
Second set 11 ー 25
The third set 19 - 25
Fourth set 21 ー 25
Fifth set
Date May 4 (Thu) 2017
Match KUROWASHIKI - Group Stage
Location 大阪市中央体育館
Member Kaziyski, Kanamaru, Watanabe, K.Takahashi, Hakamaya, Hirose, (L)Honma