The Russian women’s volleyball team is through to the FIVB World Grand Prix final after completing the preliminary stages in third place.
Vladimir Kuzyutkin’s charges took on the Japanese team on the away court in Tokyo.
Russia had already guaranteed themselves a spot in the finals so their coach gave more time to substitute players in this match, but they fell just short of finding the key to Japan’s tight defense.
The Russians suffered their second loss in this year’s competition, going down in straight sets 3:0 (25:23, 25:19, 25:19).
They finish third in the preliminaries behind unbeaten Brazil and Team USA.
China, Serbia and Thailand will become Russia’s rivals in the finals, while Brazil, Italy, Japan and US form another grouping.
The deciding games of the FIVB World Grand Prix will take place in China’s Special Administrative Region of Macau on August 24 – 28.