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[ODDS and EVENS] Yuki Ishikawa Fills a Vital Role for Italian Club Allianz Milano

Volleyball player Yuki Ishikawa is making notable contributions in Italy's SuperLega, and he hopes to do the same for the Japan men's national team in Paris.



Yuki Ishikawa
Allianz Milano veteran Yuki Ishikawa in a file photo. (VOLLEYBALL WORLD)

Read the full story on SportsLook - [ODDS and EVENS] Yuki Ishikawa Fills a Vital Role for Italian Club Allianz Milano

As the intensity of the volleyball competition heats up during Italy's ongoing SuperLega Credem Banca playoffs, Allianz Milano outside hitter Yuki Ishikawa is an omnipresent source of energy for his team.

Ishikawa provides powerful spikes and serves, volleyball smarts and valuable leadership, too.

In Milano's best-of-five semifinal series against Sir Susa Vim Perugia, for example, the 28-year-old Aichi Prefecture native was second on the team in points (19, including 18 kills) in a five-set home win (25-27, 25-21, 21-25, 27-25, 20-18) on Wednesday, April 3.

After the series-tying victory for Ishikawa and his teammates, the competition shifts to Perugia's Pala Barton. The third match is set for Sunday, April 7, followed by the fourth contest on April 11 at Allianz Cloud Arena in Milan.

Belgian rising star Ferre Reggers had a match-high 31 points for Milano. He reacted to the tough competition that lasted 2 hours and 51 minutes after his starring role in the team's triumph.

"It's never going to be easy against Perugia," Reggers remarked, according to the SuperLega website. "But we played with a lot of passion and the fans created a great atmosphere. I'm happy because we showed again that we can do anything. We can be down 2-0 but we'll fight until the end, and it's never over before the final point."

Perugia won the series-opening match at home in four sets (25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22) on April 1.

Ishikawa Analyzes Milano's Series-Opening Loss

Afterward, Ishikawa admitted in an interview published on the Japanese-language sports website The Digest that Milano needed to make on-the-go adjustments, noting its early struggles.

"I knew they had a good serve," Ishikawa said of Perugia, "so I tried to respond to that."


He then said, "I was aware of how to start the match, but that part was not so good in the first set. … Our reception and service were not working well."

But to their credit, Ishikawa and his teammates made Perugia scratch and claw for every point throughout the grueling match.

"From the third set onward, I think we started to function a little better. But the points where we were taken out in the second half of the set were all on their serve," Ishikawa said, according to The Digest before adding, "so we want to fix that."

It appears that trial-and-error moments in the opening match, even if they looked like setbacks in real time, proved helpful for Milano in the second match a few days later.

In particular, because the coaching staff, led by Roberto Piazza had abundant evidence about vital aspects of the opening match. And then the players were reminded of key adjustments to make for the second match and beyond in the series.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven