TOKYO – The U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team (CNT Japan) began its tour of Japan Wednesday, beating Nippon Sport Science University 3-2 (25-16, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 13-15) in Tokyo.

CNT Japan dominated the net en route to victory, out-blocking NSSU 22-2. LSU’s Taylor Bannister (Missouri City, Texas) led the squad with five stuffs, and both Heather Gneiting (BYU; Pleasant Grove, Utah) and Katie Myers (Maryland; Westerville, Ohio) added four. Lauren Forte (California-Berkeley; Tempe, Ariz.) tallied three, and five players contributed at least one in the win.

The Americans’ offensive attack was just as balanced. Myers landed nine kills on a .467 attack percentage and Utah’s Kenzie Koerber (Chino Hills, Calif.) was one shy at eight. Four other Americans – McKenna Melville (UCF; Eagan, Minn.), Jacqueline Quade (Illinois; Fort Wayne, Ind.), Dani Drews (Utah; Sandy, Utah) and Brooke Botkin (Southern California; Houston, Texas) – landed seven points and three players found the floor at least once as CNT Japan out-hit NSSU.213-.073. 

Myers once again led the U.S. in the service game, dialing up three aces. Botkin and Forte added two more.

The U.S. won the first two sets 25-16 and 25-23 before NSSU struck back with a 23-25 tally in the third. CNT Japan clinched the win in the fourth by taking the set 25-21, but the teams had previously agreed to play the fifth set anyway, which the hosts took 13-15. 

CNT Japan continues its campaign Thursday, May 23, with a match against Japan’s Women’s U20 Team. That contest will take place at NEC Red Rockets Training Center in Kawasaki, Japan.