Hiroshima, Japan, October 9, 2019 - Japan beat Australia 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-22) at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup on Wednesday, cruising to victory in front of a vocal partisan crowd at Hiroshima Green Arena.
Japan coach Yuichi Nakagaichi: “We won 3-0 against Australia, and having lost to them in a five-set game at the Asian Championships that’s like a ‘bone out of my throat’. Our service was good from the beginning, and theirs wasn’t so good and they made mistakes so we were able to proceed with the game at our pace.
"At the beginning of the third set we brought off (Yuki) Ishikawa but we had no worries about introducing (Tatsuya) Fukuzawa, and we were able to win the third set with him. I think that demonstrates the momentum that our team has this season. Even so, at the beginning of the third set we made some mistakes on service and slowed down a little bit, but (captain Masahiro) Yanagida and others defended well. Overall we are in good condition, showing great teamwork, and one of the reasons for that is good scouting, which is bringing unity to the team.”
Japan captain Masahiro Yanagida: “Today we were able to win solidly 3-0. We started the game well, which gave us confidence. We have more matches coming up one after the other tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, but I think we got off to a good start here. From the second set onwards we had a few moments where we flagged a little, but we were able to make the corrections needed, and tomorrow we want to continue playing well.”
On the team’s form: “First of all, we were able to win more games than we lost in Fukuoka, which gave us heightened motivation for this round. Our target is to win a medal, and in that regard we are now closer, we feel that is within reach. That meant we were in a good mood coming into this match.”
Australia coach Mark Lebedew: “We had a really rough start, especially in reception. Was it 8-1 or 8-2 at the first technical time-out? That knocked our confidence a little bit, and from that moment it was difficult for us to come back into the game. We had some small moments and some good actions, but not enough to really put pressure on Japan, especially when they are confident and playing in front of this great crowd. It’s disappointing, especially the first part of the match, and I’ll have to think back about how we prepared for it, of course. But tomorrow is the next day against Italy, and we’ll do everything to win that match tomorrow.”
Australia captain Max Staples: “It’s always great to play Japan in Japan, because you know the people like their volleyball here. So it’s nice to play in front of people. We started really shakily for some reason, I’m not sure why, and then we found some rhythm again and gave our setter some opportunities to play, and after that point we were more stable inside-out.”