We have to play better: Netherlands coach Morrison


Netherlands coach Jamie Morrison celebrates victory against Korea on Monday

Toyama, Japan, September 23, 2019 – The Netherlands beat Korea 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-22, 25-23) in the first match on the seventh day of the FIVB Women’s World Cup at Toyama City Gymnasium on Monday. 

Netherlands coach Jamie Morrison: "We can play better and we have to play better tomorrow night. I am happy that we were able to find a way to win the match, and I like the substitutes who came in and the way they played. Korea is a very good serving team and they have a variety of serves – some serve flat balls some serve loopy balls – and our receivers got into trouble. There were a few really good serves that hit the end line and there were a few communication errors. Our reception broke down and we couldn’t get a set out of it but part of that is because Korea is a good serving team. We didn’t play well tonight but I’m happy that we found a way to win when it wasn’t great."

Netherlands captain Maret Balkestein-Grothues: We have the three points; this is the good thing that we did today. Our play was not good and we made a lot of mistakes.  We had problems with our sideout and our reception and our attack, so it was not our day, but I’m happy with the victory. Tomorrow, I hope we play better than today. Russia has a very good attacking team with a lot of high balls, so a different rhythm than today against Korea and they have a good block. I think our block and defence will be key tomorrow. 

On the contribution of #4 Celeste Plak:
"She was good. When we practice and play together I’m really jealous of how hard she hits the ball. I wish I could do that. She’s important for our team and if we have trouble with our attack, normally she can find a solution. I think she did a good job but she can be a bit more stable. Sometimes she makes mistakes, but we’re very happy with her."

Korea coach Stefano Lavarini: "I am quite satisfied today because we fought a good match. We were a little unlucky at the end of the first set when Daeyeong was injured, because we lost control of the set and our rhythm. We must be better than this and keep our focus. But without Daeyeong’s injury we should have been able to control the first set very well. For the second and the third sets, we still played at a good level. Then, in the second half of the third set, the Netherlands came back strongly with their attack and we couldn’t do our best. Plak, especially, showed their power. We started really bad in the fourth and the girls did great to recover, but in the final stages we must be stronger. It’s something that we must become good at managing, and soon, but for sure we made some steps up in our quality and this is why I enjoyed the match and I’m quite satisfied about our total game."

On utilising back attacks late in the match: 
Changing habits is a difficult thing. We have a good weapon with both outside hitters generally, but we are using this kind of attack mostly in three-ball situations, counterattack situations in transition when the ball is positive, but it should also be something really important in a sideout. Tactically, this is one of the methods that must become really much more important in the way we play and we should do it from the beginning, and in general it should become a characteristic of the way we play."

Korea player Lee Jaeyeong: "Today, it was hard because our opponents were so strong and we had to fight really hard to the end. I am satisfied with what we did today and I think we were able to play to the level that the head coach expected. Tomorrow’s going to be tough again, but I think we’re getting better and better."