V.league: Jaja Santiago, Saitama win three straight, Espejo’s Tokyo FC ends season
MANILA, Philippines — Jaja Santiago led Saitama to its third straight win in its penultimate match in Japan V.League Division 1 women’s, while Marck Espejo and FC Tokyo’s farewell matches against JT Thunders have been cancelled after a player from the latter tested positive for COVID-19.
Santiago poured 13 points as Ageo Medics bucked a slow start to beat Himeji, 16-25, 25-19, 29-27, 25-17, on Saturday at Wink Gymnasium.
The 6-foot-5 middle blocker delivered 11 attacks and nailed two blocks to keep herself on top of the Best Blocker list with a total of 102 blocks in the season.
Santiago will cap her fourth season with Ageo Medics, facing the Victorinas in their last game of the 2021-22 season.
Lorenne Teixeira led Saitama with 22 points off 18 spikes and four blocks. Mami Uchiseto chimed in 15 points, while Momoko Niida added 13 for their third straight win, improving to 19-13 in fifth place.
Himeji dropped to 8-24 in the 11th place with Celeste Plak carrying the squad with 22 points.
Saki Tanaka had 14 markers, while Arisa Nagano added 10 including six blocks in the loss.
Meanwhile, Espejo’s FC Tokyo, which will cease its volleyball operations after the season, will no longer have its two farewell matches against JT Thunders, who have a player testing positive for COVID-19.
“We would like to inform you of the cancellation of the 2021-22 V.LEAGUE DIVISION 1 MEN game (between FC Tokyo and JT Thunders). We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the last announcement, but thank you for your understanding,” the league wrote. “Because (a player) tested positive for COVID-19 from JT Hiroshima.”
Espejo and Tokyo ended their season with a 9-25 record in the eighth spot, losing their last four matches including a four-set loss to Sakai on Wednesday.
It was the second time that the Tokyo-Hiroshima game got cancelled after their supposed weekend games in February were shelved due to players contracting the virus.