Zurich, Switzerland, May 8, 2014 – Birthdays are always special. Messages on your phone, cake and having a good time with your friends and family. But for Hisamitsu Springs and Japanese star Yuki Ishii, her 24th birthday celebrations will have to wait, with her side still in the race for a place in the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship Zurich 2015 semifinals.
“It’s a great feeling to celebrate my birthday right here in Switzerland – and to play one of the most important games in my life and in our club history on my own birthday,” says the now 24-year-old who faces Russia’s Dinamo Krasnodar in Pool B. “Now I want to top it with a big win over Dinamo Krasnodar and the first-ever semifinals qualification of a Japanese women’s team at the Club World Championship.”
Yuki Ishii, however, has to admit that it hasn’t been easy to stay focused.
“When I woke up today there were hundreds of messages from my family and friends; it’s not easy to keep your concentration when your phone is ringing the whole time; but since I want to focus on the big game tonight, I haven’t answered all the messages yet,”
Despite the distraction, Yuki Ishii is still keen to give her very best, no matter the odds: “When I put on my jersey and I’m on the court, I don’t think about my birthday or anything else. I just want to clinch the W – and I’m ready to give it everything.”
And despite a busy calendar, with the Montreux Masters, FIVB World Grand Prix and FIVB World Cup in Japan this year she is still taking one tournament at a time.
“I head back to Japan after the FIVB Club World Championship – then I’ll meet with my teammates from the national teams and after some training session we travel to Montreux. Nevertheless, at this very moment my focus is on the Club World Championship and the today’s game. We want to make history.”