Friday, 7 May 2021
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 Match info | Press Conference
We had to block Poland's big guns: Manabe

Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe: "It's good to beat Poland as we haven't been able to beat them. It was critical to negate their No. 1 (Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata) and No. 11 (Anna Baranska)."

"Before the start of the fourth set, I told my players to be aggressive on their serve and to be alert on blocks and receiving."

"(Re. countering tall Polish players) All the players knew the course of their spikes beforehand, so we tried to block them that way."

Japan captain Erika Araki: "I'm really happy to win again Poland as we haven't been able to beat them in the past. We had some problems, but we were able to play as planned."

"(Re. applause when entering the court as a substitute) Okayama is my home town, so the reception I got really made me happy, but I was also very nervous, so I just tried to concentrate on my game."

Japan No. 16 Saori Sakoda: "I heard Poland could block very high and I struggled to get through their blocks. I needed to move around and make more spikes."

Japan No. 12 Saori Kimura: "We had a hard time, but I'm happy we could win. Before the game we studied the course of the Polish spikes and our blockers played really well, so it that made it easier for me."

Poland coach Jerzy Matlak: "Congratulations to Japan for a good game. Last time, we won, but this time we played in Japan and that also made it difficult for us. We weren't as good as the last time we played them, but there will be other games and hopefully we will be better next time."

"The reason we lost was our mistakes. We made 29 mistakes while Japan only made 14 and that was the main difference."

Poland captain Katarzyna Skowronska-Dolata: "I'm really sad we lost tonight; it was a really important game for us, but we can still make the finals. But we have things to work on and I think tomorrow we will be in better condition and our game will be 100 percent better than today, because we did not have a good game in my opinion."

"The Japan team as always played really good defense. It was incredible; they defended almost every ball. We were trying hard to hit intelligent balls, but they were so strong in defense and that was the key to their success tonight."

"I think the Japan players have never been tall like European teams, but they are always really complete players – in defense, in serve, in the direction of their attacks. They use their hands, because if you don't have the height, you need to use more technique and they are perfect in this."


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