Yokohama, Japan, October 4, 2018 - Sarina Koga top-scored with 21 points as Japan beat Germany 3-0 (25-27, 20-25, 24-26) in their final Pool A match at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship on Thursday, but the 22-year-old is still seeking to add more guile to her game.
Japan player Sarina Koga: It’s good that we won in straight sets but from halfway through the first set I began to make mistakes so I want to correct that and work harder in the second round.
In the first set I hardly scored any points and wasn’t able to find my rhythm, but towards the end of the second half of the match I had more occasions where I received sets in good positions so I was able to score. Even so, I think I could have done more when the opposition was marking me, so I think I have to be more ingenious when I have an opponent on me.
Japan player Ai Kurogo: In the first set I felt a similar sensation to that from the Netherlands match, and was really happy we were able to win the first set today. In the second and third sets we began to make more mistakes, myself included, so I want to go for zero mistakes in such cases and work hard in the second round.
Japan coach Kumi Nakada: In the third set things got a little dangerous, but we went aggressively in search of three points in this game and each player fulfilled her role to the end. I think we can go into the second round in Nagoya in good form.
(Sarina) Koga has shown a lot of feeling this season. I think she wants to change something and wants to absorb something. She has a very strong passion for these things, she shows that in practice. She has bumped into walls and having been through such experiences she is where she is. I think she has changed the way she engages herself with volleyball, which has given greater depth and width to her play. The way she strikes each ball and is more observant of the block by the opposition and goes around it, it seems like she’s putting a lot more ideas into her play now. In today’s match too; not flashy, but very stable without too many fluctuations.
Germany coach Felix Koslowski: That was a very tough match for us. I want to congratulate Japan, maybe they played their best match in the tournament so far. My team also played great today, they fought great even if they were down three or four points, and I think we really deserved one set today. I’m very upset about the result but I’m very proud and very happy about the performance of my team, and I hope we can keep going in the next round in Nagoya in this way.
Germany captain Maren Fromm: I want to congratulate Japan for their great victory today. It was exactly what we expected, it’s like playing against a wall when you’re playing against Japan - you have to go three or four times to earn a point, and that’s what they showed today. It was really difficult to put the ball on the floor, but I think the first and the third sets were really good from us. We played until the end, just missing a little bit, a little step forward. But okay, we have to see that they are still stronger and learn from them.