March 22, 2023

This week, we highlight the Japanese star Yuki Ishikawa, who was the first player from his country to compete in the league and who will lead Allianz Milano into a challenging match against With U Verona.

These players have a significant bearing on the outcome of the Italian League, and this week we focus on Yuki Ishikawa.

There is no doubt that the group of players that currently comprise the backbone of Japan’s men’s national team is among the most talented athletes the Asian nation has ever produced. And there is the hope that it will assist the country in returning to the glory days of volleyball.

The indisputable quality of the team’s “Big Three,” which consists of opposite Yuji Nishida, outside hitters Yuki Ishikawa and Ran Takahashi, is largely responsible for this impression. It is impossible to ignore how essential Ishikawa’s leadership has been for the Japanese national team over the years, despite the fact that each player contributes significantly to the accomplishments of the national team as a whole.

Ishikawa, at the age of 26, is the player who is the oldest among the country’s top trio, and he has been the one to carry the torch and lead the transfer from the previous generation to the present one. The likes of Kunihiro Shimizu (opposite), Yu Koshikawa (outside hitter), and Takeshi Nagano (libero) were all still members of the squad when he first joined the national team in 2014.

Ishikawa was the captain of the Japanese national team when they won the 2017 Asian Championship and finished in second place in the 2014 Asian Games. This was before Nishida joined the team in 2018, and Takahashi did the same thing three years later. Additionally, he was selected to play on the Dream Team for the 2015 FIVB Volleyball World Cup.

The ‘Big Three’ collectively represented Japan at the Olympics held in Tokyo in the previous year as well as at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship held in Poland and Slovenia this year. The more connected they get, the more their followers want to see a Japanese team compete for a medal at one of the world’s most prestigious competitions.

Ishikawa became accustomed to being the first person in his career to accomplish various tasks, despite the facts that he was the second son of a couple formed by a track and field athlete and a basketball player and that he only got into volleyball because of his older sister, Naomi. Despite these facts, Ishikawa became accustomed to being the first person to do things in his career.

After dominating play at the high school level in Japan, he moved on to study at Chuo University in Tokyo. He was the first player in his country to combine academic responsibilities with a career outside of Japan.

Ishikawa, who was 19 years old at the time, made the decision to launch his professional career with Modena in the 2014-2015 season. He was the first Japanese athlete to compete in the Italian SuperLega.

The outside hitter’s tenure with Modena spanned the years 2014 through 2021, during which time the club achieved a gold medal in the Italian Cup and a second-place finish in the Italian League. In addition to that, he won the CEV Challenge Cup with his current club, Allianz Milano, and he has also played for Latina, Siena, and Padova in the past.

Although it took some time, his success ultimately allowed other Japanese sportsmen to have access to new opportunities. Nishida was the first to follow in his footsteps and spent the 2021-2022 season with Vibo Valentia as a member of their team. When they played Milano, it was the first time in the history of the SuperLega that two Japanese players had competed against each other.

Ishikawa stated during an interview with the Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport that the SuperLega is the most competitive national league. “There are a lot of players from other countries, and the competition is at a very high level. I believe that being able to practice and compete in this environment will help me become a better player for the Japan national team. Additional Japanese players would be welcome in this space. If any of my teammates want to get better, I tell them all the time that they need to come to Italy.

Nishida went back to Japan after spending one season playing in the SuperLega, but Ran Takahashi went in the opposite direction, signing with Padova before the start of the 2022-2023 season to begin his first playing experience in Italy.

Ishikawa is currently in his third season with Milano and has established himself as a crucial player for the team. On Sunday, October 30, at 18.00 local time, Milano will host a critical encounter against WithUVerona (16.00 GMT).

Milano are currently ranked fourth in the SuperLega with three wins in four matches (seven points) and are undefeated in their last three matches after they defeated Valsa Group Modena on the road in an exciting five-set match last Sunday. Milano currently have seven points. Ishikawa saw only a limited amount of playing time in the team’s most recent two matches, but she was still able to produce 24 points (22 kills and two aces) in the team’s first two matches of the season.

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