Italy Coach Massimo Barbolini
I think today for
us was like the whole tournament – very hard. We didn't start in
perfect condition because we started to prepare late for this
tournament, but we won the first three matches. We then had two very
hard matches – against Brazil yesterday and today against Japan. I
must congratulate the Japan team because they played a very, very
good match. Today, like always, I can say I am very proud of my team
because they fight, even when we don't play so well sometimes. But
they absolutely want to win and for a coach, it's very nice when you
have a team that plays this way.
(What about Japan
I'd like to talk
Japan played a
good match, like they did against Brazil. Yesterday, probably they
did not play so well. It was an important game for Japan because if
they had won they would have had a chance to win the tournament. They
played better today, but I think Italy played better because we
played even with our problems and in the end we won.
(What does the
title mean to you and Italy)
For me and the
team it's a very important victory because we said we would go to
Japan to do our best against teams we hadn't fought against this
year. It's the first time for the women's team to play this
tournament, so I'm really happy for my players.
(How did you
manage to win despite not being in top condition)
For us it was
difficult because immediately after the European Championship, the
players played four games in the Italian League, so we had no time to
work or rest. They are very good players who want to sacrifice
themselves for the Italian team. And they have shown that they are
not only good players, but also good people. It's very satisfying for
me because they always want to do their best for the Italian team.
Italy No. 12 Francesca Piccinini
Today's game was
really hard because the Japanese defense was so good and that made it
a really difficult match to win. But our defense was also really good
and that helped us to get the win. I think I should apologize to the
(Japan has a new
coach; do you see any changes in the team and has any player left an
impression on you?)
I don't see so
much difference, because the Japan teams always have a strong
defense. And I can't pick out any individual player – I think the
Japan teams always play as a unit and they all played well.
Japan Coach Masayoshi Manabe
We were close to
winning today, but we made some errors and couldn't make it. We need
to avoid spikes being stopped by a single block. Although we played
well at times, when we gave up points consecutively, it broke our
rhythm, so that is something we must work on in the future.
(How do you see
your six months in charge so far?)
I told my players
they must get to know world-class players and teams, because if we
know the world level, we will be able to come up with a strategy to
win against the strongest teams. Since becoming coach, we had the
Grand Prix and we have gained speed, but not quite enough yet. To
beat world-class teams we need speed, then accuracy, then to play
without errors. These are our three goals. We also need to improve
Japan Captain Erika Araki
We just couldn't
clinch the game today. Yesterday, we could feel the power difference
with the Dominicans.
said Japan played better today; what do you think the difference
was not so good. The Dominicans were better than us and the game was
played at their rhythm. We couldn't play our own volleyball. After
this loss, we were really disappointed and frustrated. As today's
game against Italy was our final game, we talked about it last night
and determined to do the best we could. Although we lost the game, we
played better than yesterday and did our best, so that was good.
(This is Japan's
last game of the season; how do you evaluate the six months under the
The new coach
wants more speed and has new strategies, so it's not easy to follow
his instructions. We're getting there little by little, but we are
still not good enough. Next season, we have the World Championship,
so we will make that our new challenge.
Japan No. 3 Yoshie Takeshita
It was just down
to one or two points. If we could have scored more points in the
first half of the games, the result may have been different. This
year we have a new team and have tried new things, so it's good for
me to have these new experiences.
Japan No. 12 Saori Kimura
We lost the
see-saw first set and I think that if we could have clinched that,
things may have turned out differently. I'm really disappointed
because we got to deuce. If we had done something before it got to
deuce, things may have gone better.
Overall, I'm not
satisfied with the way I played. I don't feel I contributed to the
team wins or good results, but this competition is over and we need
to learn from this failure and use it for the future.