Nagoya, Japan, October 15, 2018 - Paola Egonu scored a match-high 36 points as Italy downed Japan 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 25-21, 19-25, 15-13) in the third round at the FIVB Women's World Championship on Monday night. Italy's coach said he knew it would be a tough match.
Italy coach Davide Mazzanti: Japan played incredible on attack and defense. We had trouble on sideout in the first and second sets. We gave away too much. We were not able to maintain our gameplan. I'm proud of the team. Our next match will be important. I'm tired but happy. We expected it to be a difficult match. Our players made it more difficult after not grasping chances.
Italy captain Cristina Chirichella: Not much to say about the technical aspects of the match. I feel our fighting spirit decided the outcome. We were able to inject it into the match and that made the difference.
Japan coach Kumi Nakada: This season we were trying to develop the team with the goal of getting a medal in this event. I am full of disappointment. We still have one match to play. The differences between us and the world's best are many. The score difference was only one or two points, but that is still a big difference.
Japan player Risa Shinnabe: It was a disappointing match. We talked before it about giving it our all and we did. I think something is still missing. That is the difference.
Japan player Sarina Koga: Losing in five sets is disappointing. I had a mistake in the final set and they scored and turned it around. I want to win the last match.
Japan player Yuki Ishii: We thought it was possible to win a medal. We could not score two more points. We kept our focus and concentration to the end. We would like to look at the positive and win in the fifth next time.