Questioned about their next game with Italy on Monday, Japan’s captain Erika Araki singled out: “It will be a very important match. We just need to bring our rhythm back and keep going with strong play”. About the way her side sped up in the second set to cruise away after the score had remained very close up to 13 all, Araki added: “This was not normal and we did not really get into the rhythm but were able to get it back and play the way we wanted. I think the service was the key to our victory today”.
Finally coach Masayoshi Manabe concluded: “We had been waiting very long for that opening match of the tournament. We are very happy with the result. Before the start of the match we had discussed a lot about the quality of our service and reception, something that hadn’t really worked that well this past May as we played the last Olympic qualifying event in Tokyo”.