FIVB - Women's Volleyball World Cup 2011

Press release

Japan captain Erika Araki: Takeshita's block was really outstanding


Brazil can now look ahead to playing the Dominican Republic, Argentina, and Algeria in the fourth round

Sapporo, Japan, November 13, 2011 - Press Conference, Japan v Brazil: Taking on Olympic champions Brazil on its home court, the Japanese team pulled off a stunning win in Sapporo on Sunday, largely thanks to a miraculous block by the setter Yoshie Takeshia.

Japan coach Masayosi Manabe: We had a strong serve today and our defence and blocking was good as well. So both Yukiko Ebata and Saori Kimura were spiking well in tough situations.

On Mai Yamaguchi starting instead of Risa Shinnabe: Shinnabe is a little shorter and was pretty tired here. But from the beginning of the tournament I was hoping to start Yamaguchi about halfway through the tournament.

Yesterday I tried to use Shinnabe as much as possible. I know Yamaguchi’s serve reception is weak, and Shinnabe’s is strong, so I used Shinnabe yesterday. I know Yamaguchi plays well against Brazil, so I wasn’t too concerned about her today.

On Mizuho Ishida and two-subs-at-once strategy: From last year Ishida has been a good match for playing Brazil, so that’s why I used her. At the end her service reception wasn’t so good, but so far our two-subs-at-once strategy has been a good one for us.

On beating first-ranked Brazil and chances at finishing in top three: We lost three matches already, and we all know we can’t lose any more. Today we beat number one Brazil, so we still have a possibility for a World Cup medal (and thus an Olympic ticket).

Japan captain Erika Araki: I’m very happy that we got this win against Brazil today. Our substitution strategy worked well. We could win against Brazil as a team, and I hope we can carry this atmosphere on to the next round in Tokyo.

On not hitting their rhythm until eighth match: I don’t think Brazil was at their best today, and we lost against Italy and China early in the tournament, by giving up big runs of points. But today we could concentrate and take it one point at a time, so mentally we adjusted a little. Our team is improving match by match.

On Takeshita block that saved first set: She is really small but she manages to get a hand up and block sometimes. Today’s Takeshita’s block was really outstanding.

Japan player Mai Yamaguchi: To win in three sets against Brazil is really great. As for me, I wasn’t playing on a good level. But teammates played well, and everyone helped and that’s why things went well in the end.

Thoughts on starting: I had a chance in a different role before as a substitution, but I had the same mindset. At the beginning I was really worried when I heard I would be starting, but I thought I should just do my best and do whatever I could do.

Japan player Yukiko Ebata: I know Brazil is number one, but I don’t think this was their best performance today. But still, to be able to beat them in three straight sets is great and I’m really happy. Their serving and spike was strong. Our service reception and setting was a little off, but I kept on spiking to try to get as many points as possible.

On seeing Brazil’s high block: Their blocking is really high, and I had limited options against them. In the first and second set I was blocked. Last year we took the first and second set against Brazil in a match, but lost in the end. So after the second set we made sure to stay mentally fresh, and I tried to hit my spots in the face of their blocking.

Brazil coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes: First I’d like to congratulate the Japanese team. The first set was very close, but in the second and third the level of play by Japan was better than us. Especially in first set, Takeshita’s block… that was the big reason we couldn’t take the first set. If we could have taken the first, today’s match might have been much longer. Also the spiking from the left from [Saori] Kimura and [Yukiko] Ebata was really good as well. They had less misses, good reception, and their digging was very strong too.

On the fourth round in Tokyo: For Tokyo, we play against the Dominican Republic, Argentina, and Algeria. We still need to gain nine points, and as you know Argentina is our long-time rival. Algeria is doing well, and the Dominicans are improving. So in Tokyo, things won’t be easy for us.

Brazil captain Fabiana Claudino: Today the team wasn’t really good and we had more misses. We have to play more carefully, and especially make sure our services go in. But we couldn’t do that today.

In the World Grand Prix they beat Japan twice. Why was it different today?: The spiking from the left was much faster, and spiking from the middle and back was improved too.


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