Three weeks ago, we at volleymob had said that the Japanese women’s national team had released their final roster for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship. Now the presentation was for Tokyo Broadcasting System to begin their advertising campaign for the tournament. On Tuesday, September 25th the Japanese federation along with their head coach Kumi Nakada announced their final roster with a couple of surprises.
Here is the position breakdown:
- Setters: Koyomi Tominaga #10 (Lardini Filottrano), Kanami Tashiro #22 (CSM Bucharest)
- Middle Blockers: Nana Iwasaka #3 (captain, Hisamitsu Springs) Erika Araki #5 (Toyota Auto Body Queenseis), Mai Okumura #13 (Nakhon Ratchasima Mall-Thailand), Haruyo Shimamura #9 (NEC Red Rockets)
- Outside Hitters: Risa Shinnabe #4 (Hisamitsu Springs), Yuki Ishii #7 (Hisamitsu Springs), Sarina Koga #2 (NEC Red Rockets), Ai Kurogo #21 (Toray Arrows), Mami Uchiseto #8 (Toyota Auto Body Queenseis)
- Opposite: Miyu Nagaoka #1 (Imoco Volley Conegliano)
- Liberos: Kotoe Inoue #15 (CSM Bucharest), Mako Kobata #16 (JT Marvelous)
Just as I started to write this article, I noticed that Yurie Nabeya (Denso Airybees) had been left off the team. Nabeya had been at the previous presentation at the beginning of the month. I can only speculate as to why she was left off the team. In my mind Nabeya is a spark plug off the bench, and I do not see an immediate replacement for her spirit. Mami Uchiseto, who had played in Italy’s Serie B this past season for Hermaea Olbia has replaced her on the final 14 roster. Additionally in the presentation earlier in the month, setters Miya Sato and Kanami Tashiro were on the stage as well. I felt that Tashiro would be dropped as the final player left off. I was wrong, Sato was dropped as Japan will use Tominaga and Tashiro as the setters. This has to be a hard fall for Sato in the last year. From being a starter on the national team in 2017 to having her club team (Hitachi Rivale) finish last in 2017-2018, and then being dropped from the national team at the last possible moment before the World Championship which is being played at home. Even worse for Sato is that she was part of the Mizuno “Red for Japan” campaign, and even on the JVA’s homepage at this very second for their special page on the Women’s World Championship.
One interesting thing that we were able to see for the first time at the press conference was that Japan has added a white uniform to their uniform choices. Early in the summer we had written about the purple, blue and red design, by Mizuno. I am guessing that Mizuno had to create a light colored uniform as each team is required by FIVB Event Regulation 4.9.3
For FIVB and World Competitions, each team shall have available
three (3) sets of playing uniforms, each one of a different colour. One of
them must have a jersey which is 75% white and the two (2) other sets
must be of different dark colors.
This may be the first time at a World Championships that a team has four different color choices for the tournament. I am guessing that the libero will be wearing the white only when the red uniforms are worn. I am still a fan of the purple look as they would be the only team wearing purple in the tournament. However, I have a feeling that the Japanese women will wear red due to Mizuno’s campaign “Red for Japan.”