Jamie Morrison and Maret Balkestein-Grothues in discussion with the Netherlands players
Yokohama, Japan, September 30, 2018 - Netherlands captain Maret Balkestein-Grothues was thankful for a stern test and proud of her team’s resilience after they won a five-set thriller against Japan (27-25, 16-25, 28-26, 19-25, 15-13) on Sunday night at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship.
Netherlands captain Maret Balkestein-Grothues: I think it was an amazing match for the spectators, with a lot of long rallies. Japan is an amazing defence team, for my feeling they had everything in defence. Again we made a great comeback and we never gave up - as you could see in the fifth set, I think it was so close. I’m really proud.
(On going to five sets) I think it’s good for us so we can play matches on a high level with good opponents. That’s the challenge for us, and we can compete against them which also gives us confidence. Of course you feel it, but I think it’s also good to help us grow into a tournament like this.
Netherlands coach Jamie Morrison: I’m proud of my team in this match and over the last two days, because we’ve been able to stay composed, play well, and fight when it matters most. That will help us throughout this tournament, because it’s not what you do when things are easy but what you do when they’re difficult. I’m happy that we’ve been tested, and I look forward to the rest of the tournament.
Japan coach Kumi Nakada: I’m full of disappointment now, but my players were very aggressive to the end in their play. Of course there are many issues, but I think for us this was a game we have to take as a positive. The matches will continue from now on too, so I think we have to refresh our minds and focus on the games tomorrow and thereafter.
Japan player Sarina Koga: At the beginning of the first set we really had the momentum working in our favour, but in the latter half of the first set we made mistakes and allowed them to seize it from us. I think now we have to switch our minds onto the next match so we can win in straight sets tomorrow.
Japan player Risa Shinnabe: We got off to a good start, I think, but from the middle section to the end we made some mistakes and the opponent found their rhythm and we kept missing points, so we want to switch our minds to tomorrow’s match.