Nagoya, Japan, October 10, 2018 - Miyu Nagaoka and Sarina Koga scored 19 points each as Japan handed Serbia their first loss 3-1 (15-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-23) in the second round of the FIVB Women's World Championship on Wednesday night and the Japan coach said the victory was important.
Japan coach Kumi Nakada: To go to the next round this was an important game. We got the three points and will play aggressive again tomorrow. Serbia is one of the top teams in the world, so I wanted (Sarina) Koga and (Ai) Kurogo to get experience against them looking toward the 2020 Olympics. I knew Serbia's service would be good. I knew Kurogo would be targeted. I was cautious about their quick attacks. We disrupted them with our service. Our block and defense functioned well. (Yuki) Ishii shines in difficult situations. That gives confidence to young players.
Serbia coach Zoran Terzic: It is always very interesting playing against Japan. We didn't play well after the first set. Japan deserved to win. That's it. (Tijana) Boskovic is injured. I hope it is not serious. She warmed up tonight but told me she could not play. I don't know if she will play tomorrow. We won't risk players to finish first in the group. I took (Brankica) Mihajlovic out in the third set because she had some pain in her knee. She had a knee operation a few months ago.
Serbia captain Maja Ognjenovic: It is always difficult to play Japan. They were more patient tonight. We were missing energy. I guess we were tired. We have already qualified. We hope to play our volleyball against the Netherlands tomorrow. We have to get ready for the final six tournament. Boskovic has some injury to her abdominal muscles. We don't think it is serious. We didn't want to risk her playing.
Japan player Miyu Nagaoka: We could not afford to miss tonight. We knew it would be a tough match. The first set the flow was not with us. We switched after that and it allowed us to capture the moment.
Japan player Sarina Koga: It is good we won and got the three points. They had the rhythm in the first set. We showed our volleyball from the second set and want to show it again tomorrow.
Japan player Mai Okumura: We were more aggressive with our serve in the second through fourth sets. We exhibitied tenacious volleyball.