Haleigh Washington finished with 22 points for the second USA win in Pool 2 of women's VNL
Ruse, Bulgaria, May 22, 2019 – After the perfect 3-0 start against Belgium on the first competition day the current champions from USA continued their campaign to defend their title in the best possible way defeating Japan 3-1 (25-21, 24-26, 25-21, 25-20).
Karch Kiraly, head coach of USA: "Japan is a great team. They have a wonderful fighting spirit and they never give up. We had a big lead in the second set and Japan just kept trying and kept trying and that is what they do. They did the same to Bulgaria yesterday, they came back. They play great defence and It’s an honour for us to play against such a persistent team. We expect a really tough match tomorrow against Bulgaria. They played good volleyball last night and in addition they have the amazing support from their fans."
Haleigh Washington, player of USA: "I am feeling very tired. Japan is a really strong team and they worked us hard. Their defence is perfect and we had to be quite scrappy and work hard in long rallies. And yes, I am tired but glad. I think in the third set we just came back to what we do best - passing really well and trying to run out our offense."
Kumi Nakada, head coach of Japan: "We are very sorry that we didn’t manage to get the third set which was really important. It was a difficult match and we just couldn’t challenge enough the team of USA. This is just the start of this year's Volleyball Nations League so we have enough time to change our mind and be ready for tomorrow’s game as well as for the whole tournament."