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Sakota's back attack allowed me to be effective - Saori

A disappointed Poland side saw their two-set lead slip as Japan earned a crucial 3-2 victory in the last match of the opening day in Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan, October 28, 2010 - Japan vs Poland Press Conference

Poland captain Aleksandra Jagielo
: “We congratulate the Japan team on a very good match. We were in a good position to win in the fourth set. So now it’s important to forget about this match and play as well as possible against Serbia to win.”

Poland player Joanna Kaczor: “First we’d like to congratulate the Japanese team on their win. We’re very upset that we didn’t execute today.

On Saori Kimura: "I think that she’s a very good player, always on high level. I think that she’s the major point of the Japanese team and she led them to this win. Japan came back strong in the third game and it was hard for us to execute. As for myself I cannot explain why I didn’t have better execution that the first two games, maybe I got tired.”

Poland coach Jerzy Matlak: “A lot of things have been said already by the players, I’m personally very sorry it turned out like this. The match seemed under control, we led for first two sets. We could have won in fourth when we led. But Japan was dedicated and determined, and that was the turning point for them. We made too many unneeded mistakes. So the Japanese determination plus our mistakes, that’s what led to this result.”

“On the break between 2nd and 3rd set: I don’t know how it would have turned out [if there wasn’t such a break], so I don’t want to think about that. Our mistakes in the fourth and fifth and service errors in crucial moments, that was the main reason.”

“This was a very difficult match — in Japan, against Japan. And we had it almost won. It’s hard to find a single reason why it turned out like this.”

On Serbia tomorrow: "Definitely this match was not helpful, the fact that it took 2 and a hal hours, and we have Serbia at 3pm tomorrow, this will not help us.”

Japan player Saori Sakota: “Before I came to the court we had lost two sets already. My determination was to change the momentum. I concentrated on an effective back attack. Mentally I was ready to deliver an effective back attack.”

Japan player Saori Kimura: “Front the very first part of the first set, we had a very good rhythm but then we lost it and lost the two sets. But our determination did not wane, and all players were determined, and that’s why we could get this great win”.

On pressure of being main attacker: “Myself today, on the attacking aspect of my performance, in the first two sets it was not as I had hoped. I couldn’t break through their blocking. But after the third set as Satoka came in and delivered her back attack, that’s why their blocking was not completely set, and that’s why my attacking was effective in later in the match.”

Japan player Megumi Kurihara: “As Saori said, I agree with her that all players’ determination was strong, and that’s why we won today. As for me, before entering the match I knew I had some role to contribute, and any part of the game or any technicalities I could deliver, my mental preparation was for this.”

On her physical condition: “As for my physical problem, the trainer and coach considered my condition and gave me a very good training program. I’m ok, and I’m in good shape now.”

Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe: “I knew this match would be difficult going in, but looking at the stats of the first two sets, every aspect we were superior, except for effective attacking. … That’s why I brought in Kurihara she’s a good blocker… and Sakota delivered a very effective back attack.”

“Hitomi Nakamichi was a very effective second setter. One of the reasons why were were effective is now we can change two players at once, setter and spiker.”


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