A love match made in volleyball heaven

Sometimes certain things or people just belong together, like Yuji Nishida and Sarina Koga – two of Japan’s biggest volleyball stars.

The announcement of Yuji and Sarina’s union, burst into life on December 31, 2022, just when people were busy preparing to welcome the New Year.

Well, that headline was huge all across the volleyball world, starting 2023 off with much more bang.

To all our fans, we want to thank you for your continued warm support. We are pleased to announce that we, Yuji Nishida and Sarina Koga, are now married,” the two Japanese stars jointly announced on Instagram.

Yuji Nishida and Sarina Koga, jointly announced on Instagram.

“We are still new, but we are grateful for this union, and we hope to build a good family while supporting and giving each other strength. We are both active players and for sure will meet many challenges along the way, but we will overcome it together and we will continue to work hard in improving our level of competitiveness. We are committed to supporting each other and we look forward for your support.”

Their individual athletic efforts and achievements are just as significant, but the combination of these two is just enticing, distinctive and celebrated – making the worldwide volleyball community root for them more. Truly, this pairing is a love match made in volleyball heaven.

Yuji first represented Japan in 2017 in the U19 category and made his senior national team debut in the inaugural edition of the Volleyball Nations League in 2018. His impressive scoring performances earned him a starting spot in the team and stints at the World Championships, World Cup and the Olympics, but also a number of individual accolades along the way. The lefty’s high-leaping ability also made him an undeniable crowd favourite.

Sarina was also a great achiever as a junior player, winning the Asian title and an MVP for herself in 2012 and continued to win medals in the U23 and senior categories. Her high-scoring performances has heralded her as the most formidable hitter in the Japanese roster and her leadership guided the team to earn its best finish at fourth place in the 2021 VNL.

This year you will see not one but two Nishidas, as Sarina will be wearing the Nishida surname on the back of her jersey. Expect nothing less from these two prolific and talented athletes as they compete at the 2023 VNL.

The Japan women’s team will play in the home opener in Nagoya against the Dominican Republic on May 30, followed by matches against Croatia on June 2, Bulgaria on June 3 and their Asian rivals China on June 4. They will be in Brasilia from June 13 to 18 and then Bangkok from June 27 to July 2, aiming for a spot in the Finals in Arlington, Texas.

The men’s squad will also start their 2023 VNL campaign in Nagoya and will face Asian rivals Iran on June 6, Serbia on June 9, Bulgaria on June 10 and France on June 11. They will play the second and third weeks in Orleans in France from June 20-25 and Pasay City in the Philippines from July 4 to 9, hoping to reach the Finals in Gdansk, Poland.


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