FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Dominican De La Cruz: Japan exploited our shortcomings


Japan setter Hitomi Nakamichi established a fast offensive pace against the Dominican Republic

Tokyo, Japan, November 16, 2013 - Japan picked up a hard fought win against a tough Dominican Republic team, 3–0. The third set was a thriller at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, and a well-prepared Japan side was happy with their persistence in fighting off a number of Dominican set points to come up with this win straight sets win.

Dominican Republic captain Bethania De La Cruz: Today’s match was very difficult, but we had to accept the fact that we lost. Japan did their homework, and exploited our shortcomings. Our counter attacks were not effective today.

Dominican Republic coach Marcos Kwiek: Congratulations to the Japan team. It’s a great team. Very strong defense. They’re so fast. But I’m happy my team worked hard. It’s a young team.

Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe: Today our serve and defense were as I had expected going into this match. I thought blocking the Dominicans would be hard, so I tried to get our team to have blocking and defense in sync, and in the end it worked out well.

Japan captain Saori Kimura: For the first and second we could break out a little with serving, and our scoring was pretty balanced. So I think it was good effort overall.

On tomorrow’s match vs Brazil: Tomorrow will be everything we have worked for this season, so I need to try really hard to bring this home. All the team members and staff will be acting as one, we need to believe in ourselves that we can win this game for sure.

Japan player Risa Shinnabe: Everyone stayed focused until the end of the match. For the first and second set we had our own pace, and got some momentum going. However during the third we started to slow because out blocking was not effective. but we stayed focus until the end, and that’s why we won.

On tomorrow: Tomorrow’s opponent Brazil, is very strong. But today we had a good start, and carried momentum through. And we’d like to do that tomorrow. I hope I can receive well tomorrow as well.

Japan player Yuki Ishii: Winning in straight sets is really encouraging. In the third set our opponents took the lead, but we didn’t give up. We stayed patient and tenacious in this game.

On tomorrow: We really have to have a great start. It would be nice to get the first 8 points, but even if they can score one, we don’t want to let up or give away any momentum. This will be the last game, and there will be lots of Japanese fans here lending us support. So I think we have to win the game [for them].

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