Sendai, Japan, July 15, 2017 – Captain Milena Rasic led Serbia to a strong 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-20) against pool hosts Japan, recoding first victory this weekend in the FIVB World Grand Prix here.
The middle blocker scored 18 points – 13 spikes and 5 blocks – becoming the best scorer of her team. Brankica Mihajlovic followed with 14 points, while Stefana Veljkovic also showed good performance in block, scoring another 3 points to teams overall, rather lucky, 13 in that element.
Despite the loss, Japan had fewer errors, giving away only 14 points to the opponent in comparison to 21 received from hands of the Serbian team. Sarina Koga was the best scorer on her side of the net with 15 points (14 spikes and one ace), while Mai Okumura was the best blocker in her team with 3 points.
Serbia coach, Zoran Terzić – “As usual when we play Japan it was a tough difficult game for us, today also was like this. Yes, we won 3–0 but we needed to do many thing to win every point. Japan didn’t give us even one easy point. So I must be satisfied with result today, because I don’t remember the last time we won 3–0 against japan. So today we can be satisfied with this result.”
“Japan plays practically the same way every time – really well on defense and tactically very well too. Also they play very fast, and it’s difficult on perfect receptions to make good blocks on Japan’s attack. Maybe the last generation of the Japan team had more experience, they played big competitions and had much experience. This generation just needs to play more and continue to take part in big competitions. In a few years I think they will be on a good level.
Serbia captain, Milena Rasic – “The most important thing today was that we played better than yesterday, and that’s for sure. It’s always hard to play Japan and their quick volleyball. We had to defend and block better today, and I think we did it well, and that was the main reason why we won.”
Japan coach, Nakada Kumi – “We thought playing the Serbia team that block, defense and service would be very important. We needed to manage well on their offense from the middle. In the middle of the third we made some substitutions, and I think maybe I made some mistakes there. Today we definitely found some points for improvement, including service, attack on transtion, and our emotional approach to the game.”
Japan captain, Nana Iwasaka – “Yesterday we played together with this group for the first time. (…) The reason we lost this game was we were unable to put together a good offence. Serbia controlled the pace today, so we need to look back at this game and think more about how to proceed in the next matches.”
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