"One team, one heart" was our slogan for today - Nabeya


Japan celebrate their 3-1 win over the Netherlands in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup

Osaka, Japan, September 29, 2019 – Japan hosted the Netherlands in its final match of the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Cup at Maruzen Intec Arena Osaka. The home side delighted the Osaka crowd in Sunday's finale, beating the tough Dutch side 3-1 (25-18, 27-25, 24-26, 25-21).

Japan coach Kumi Nakada: "In this World Cup our target was to win a medal, but the result is like this, we couldn't reach the target. But our players didn't give up, and fought well to the end. In this competition we had points of reflection and challenges and for next season we'd like to improve on them. That's how I feel at the moment."

To bridge the gap between now and where they want to be for the Olympics: "The mental aspect, and I think we're short on physical toughness. Take the match against Russia, we battled very hard against them but we lost concentration because of a lack of physical toughness. We have to receive such strong spikes. We have to be tougher. We have to be able to withstand and receive such forceful attacks. We are still not there."

Japan player Miya Sato: "Through the competition we received lots of support, so I'd like to thank you all. Before the start of this match Japan rugby team's Michael Leitch mentioned the Volleyball World Cup in one article. We all read that article, and the rugby players said something about the need to have strong will to win, and I think today we had strong will, and that let us win. In today's match we had challenges and good points. But we will reflect on the shortcomings."

Japan player Yuki Ishii: "Today's match as Sato said, because of this rugby story we were able to unite as a team and play the match. In the third set that we lost we didn't play badly at all. And in fourth although we didn't start well, but ever one kept concentration to the end. And we could show our passion in this match as a grand finale for this competition. In the first half of this competition it was really tough, we felt really discouraged. But we found some clues for improvement for next year's Olympics, which we can improve to be stronger."

On good points from Osaka round: "This Osaka round I wanted to get timing right to give more options to the setter, and that kind of attacking was achieved, and there were a lot of middle attacks, even in high sets, we had attacks from the right. But we don't want to be lopsided, but instead evenly distributed. if we hit as meany times as each other, i think then we would be scoring more. I wanted to be more aggressive, and having been able to do that is one of our achievements here. We want to follow the instructions of the head coach, and I think getting our timing right was a good point from this Osaka round."

Japan player Yurie Nabeya: "As my two teammates said Michael Leitch mentioned us. We had their slogan of 'one team, one heart' in our minds today. And I thought about what I could do for the team as I went on court. Regarding my own performance, I tried to reduce (opponent's) stuff blocks and try to reduce my mistakes. And also service went well, I could score several points in a row in that way, and that's one of the achievements from this competition - though i have still challenges in that area, I'd like to improve."

Netherlands coach Jamie Morrison:  "It was a difficult tournament full of ups and downs. I was happy with some of the play during the tournament, and unhappy with some other. Due to the schedule, there were some players who couldn't play late in this tournament - we had a lot of young players on the floor tonight. I thought we fought as hard as we could, and I'm proud of the fight that we showed during the match, it wasn't enough. I wish we would have gotten the second set."

When asked about his players condition after this long tournament: "The combination of European championships and this is difficult to say the least. I did everything I could to not play every player every match. But we still have some injuries due to that. And I think everyone is physically and maybe more so mentally drained just from five straight weeks of competition. It's really hard to do night in and night out, with how much these athletes put into it. Again, I'm proud of the group tonight because I know there wasn't much left in the gas tank, and I thought they gave me everything they had."

Netherlands player Laura Dijkema: "It was really tough, Japan played really well in defence. I'm proud of the way we fought. I'm of course disappointed that we lost the game. But I think we can be proud of how we played this last game after this tough tournament."

When asked about the positives to take away from this tournament: "I think in general, we are a little disappointed in how we played this tournament. The positive thing was we played really hard today, and I'm happy that after some doubts that we could show we could bounce back."