Our fighting spirit is improving - Kiraly


USA coach Karch Kiraly encourages his players against Russia

Nagoya, Japan, September 8, 2017 – USA coach Karch Kiraly said he was proud of his players’ fighting spirit in their 3-2 win over Russia in the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Grand Champions Cup on Friday.

World Grand Champions Cup - Scores

USA coach Karch Kiraly:
I was really proud of the way our team fought hard. It wasn’t always easy but everybody contributed to the effort. We’ve been improving our fighting spirit during the tournament. It was pretty low against China but it’s been getting better as we go on and we need that fighting spirit against Japan tomorrow. Japan runs a very fast offence, so we don’t have much time to respond. We also try to run that kind of offence so it will be good to practice that. Japan also play great defence, so we’ll have some really long rallies and it’s difficult to play long rallies when you’re tired. But we have to do that.

For many teams around the world, the year after the Olympics is a year of development, bringing in young players. We did that a lot during the World Grand Prix. Now we have some players back who played in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, so we’re trying to get our young players and veteran players working back together and I feel like we’re getting better in each match in this tournament.

USA captain Carli Lloyd: It was a great challenge for us. Russia is a very strong team and we knew we would have to be disciplined on our blocking and defence to slow down their great attacking play. Their offence is very strong. We had to make some changes to win the match and it was a great team effort. I’m proud of the way we responded and came back and continued to fight. It’s great to win a long match and I’m proud of the way we worked. I’ve seen a little of Japan on TV and my impression for many years is that they have great defence and they are really fun to watch and play against.

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Russia coach Vladimir Kuziutkin: We weren’t able to do what we wanted to do. Of course, you can’t always play well but I’m not going to say anything negative about my players. As a coach and a team, we just do our best. This kind of thing can happen in any sport.

Russia captain Ekaterina Kosianenko:
I’d like to thank everyone who came out to watch today. We could have played better. We could have done better in defence and been more effective, so we’re sorry about that. We had a game plan but to put it simply we just couldn’t do what we wanted to.


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