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Russia coach Voronkov on win over Japan: The atmosphere was tough in Kyoto

Russia's coach Voronkov was pleased to get his team back on track with a win

Kyoto, Japan, November 20, 2013 - After losing to Italy on day one of the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Grand Champions Cup, Russia played to their full potential against host Japan on Wednesday at Kyoto Prefectural Gymnasium, easily winning 3-0. For Russia’s coach Voronkov, this match represented a chance to get back on track in the tournament, and put on a dominant performance so his team could feel better as they continue in Tokyo. He also gave a nod to the Kyoto fans, acknowledging that they made it tough for his team to play.

Russia coach Andrey Voronkov: Team Japan’s defense is very good, so we wanted to work on our attack, and I think it was effective today. We wanted to work on our block, and today it was good. The atmosphere was tough here in Kyoto gymnasium, but our performance was good. […] Today’s match was important for us. We lost yesterday and wanted to recover from that game. We wanted to give our best performance so we could build our confidence moving forward from today.

Russia player Alexey Spiridonov: Today we gave the performance we wanted to do. And for Japan, that was unfortunate.

Japan coach Gary Sato: Our team played very hard, and we tried to prepare as best we could in practice. But it’s difficult to replicate such a big block, the angles of their spike, as well as the speed of their serve. For practice we need to train harder and smarter. But there’s no time for that, and we need to prepare for Brazil.

On matchups today: We noticed there are some weaknesses in their serve reception based on film and statistical analysis. So whether it’s a float server serving to certain areas, or a jump server serving to certain areas, that’s what we were hoping to accomplish. And when we were able to do that, it worked out well.

First of all, I think there’s a good reason Russia is number two in the world, and won a gold medal. But the competitor in us is disappointed that we didn’t play better, that we didn’t win. The most important thing in situations like this is that we control what we can on our side, and we had trouble figuring that out early.

Japan captain Kota Yamamura: Today I didn’t play, but my teammates on the court did their best. We knew Russia was big and we prepared for that, but it didn’t go as we had hoped. Hopefully we can bounce back well from this.

Japan player Tatsuya Fukuzawa: Russia is strong serving and blocking, and we just didn’t have good service reception today, and our attack was very slow. So they had time to prepare their block and we got shut out. We’ll try to serve receive better and get better tempo. We need to work on that for next time.

Japan player Yu Koshikawa: Today our defense was better, and our serve better than yesterday, our block too. The system was working better than yesterday, but our offense was not so good. Our attack coming from the back good, the attack on the right with (Kunihiro) Shimizu was good. I hope we can work hard in these last three games.

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