Manila, Philippines June 28, 2016 – Hisamitsu Springs Kobe complete a strong line-up of teams set to battle it out for the 2016 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship 2016 with the reigning Japanese champions named as the last wildcard for the tournament.
The starting field for the tournament, set to take place in Manila, Philippines from October 18 to 23 is now complete, with Hisamitsu joining an “All Stars” squad from the Philippine SuperLiga, defending Asian champions Bangkok Glass, CEV Champions League winners Pomì Casalmaggiore, 2016 South American Club Championship gold medallists Rexona AdeS Rio de Janeiro, reigning FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship champs Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul, Turkish titleholders VakifBank Istanbul, as well as multiple Swiss champs and last year’s bronze medallists Volero Zürich.
The club from the Japanese metropole Kobe have already fought for the most coveted trophy in women’s club volleyball twice. The team from the Land of the Rising sun scored a big coup last year as they stunned Turkish top side Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul in the opening game and edged the eventual champions 3-2 in a breath-taking five-set thriller. Subsequently, however, Kumi Nakada’s squad missed out on the semifinals despite a very strong performance in the other group stage game, and therefore, are still waiting for their first medal at the tournament.
Hisamitsu Springs had a more successful domestic campaign however. The side took revenge on arch-rivals Hitachi Rivale for the defeat in the finals last year with a strong 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-17) victory in the gold medal match to celebrate a fifth Japanese title in the club’s history.
There was disappointment at the Asian Volleyball Club Volleyball Championship however, as they missed out on back-to-back golds with a loss to Bangkok Glass in the final.
Now the Japanese outfit are looking to bounce back in the Philippines.
The big leaders of the star-studded squad are the local heroines Risa Shinnabe, Yuki Ishii, and Miyu Nagaoka. All of them are not only cornerstones for Hisamitsu, but also for the Japanese national team.
Hisamitsu Springs captain Risa Shinnabe, is also one of the most celebrated players in Japan having won bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Wing spiker Yuki Ishii and opposite spiker Miyu Nagaoka, on the other hand, led the team from the Land of the Rising Sun to silver at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals on home court in Tokyo in 2014. Ishii and Nagaoka have made a name for themselves as ruthless attackers.
At the moment, the duo are competing with Manabe Masayoshi’s squad the FIVB World Grand Prix, but the big highlight is without doubt the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August, where the spikers will want to have their part in leading Japan to another medal.
On the side-lines, Hisamitsu Springs Kobe can count on living volleyball legend Kumi Nakada. The former setter of the national team belongs was one of the country’s biggest stars who, at the age of 18, helped stun the world with Japan to claim bronze at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Subsequently, Nakada became a cornerstone of the national team and celebrated various achievements with Japan at international competitions.