Sunday, 28 February 2021
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Press Info - Press Conference
USA overcome Venezuela

USA's Rich Lambourne dives for the Mikasa

Ricardo NAVAJAS (BRA) - Venezuelan head coach

On his thoughts about the game:
"We started the game very nervous in the first two sets. Our serving and blocking was erratic, but afterwards we calmed down, we concentrated harder, and started to play a much better game."

On what he said after the second set:
"I told them to relax, to enjoy this moment. We've had to work very hard to qualify for the Olympic Games so they should go out there, relax, and give it their best."

On pool A:
"I think most of the teams in our pool are on the same level. Japan, China and Venezuela are perhaps a little bit weaker so I expect two of these teams will be eliminated."

Ronald LARSEN (USA) - assistant coach

On the course of the game:
"It had a lot of ebbs and flows. Early on, we were playing at a fairly good level. They had difficulty returning the serve. We knew Venezuela was a very physical team. We knew they played with a certain emotion."

On the effect of the BACHMAN tragedy on the team:
"We went into the game knowing this tragedy had happened and also knew that four years had gone into this. We came into the tournament playing wonderful USA volleyball -- some of the greatest this decade. This is about the team, not individual people."

On lacking head coach Hugh McCUTCHEON (NZL) at the match:
"I was feeling nervous before the match and it's a good thing because I'm normally pretty good about controlling emotions. It's easy being up there, knowing all the effort from the last four years."

"It's (the pressure) never been on one person's shoulders. We've always been talking about playing as a team, and that goes for the coaching staff as well."

Thomas HOFF (USA) - captain

On the emotions going through his head:
"It's been pretty emotional for the last 24 hours. It's a game out there, nothing compared to what happened to our team. The best thing we could do was to come out here and try to play volleyball."

On his thoughts on what happened in the third and fourth sets:
"I think we had a good gameplan throughout the first two games and when they started to play better volleyball we had a hard time adjusting."

On talking to his coach (Hugh McCUTCHEON) the night before:
"To hear his voice and get leadership from him -- he's been the guy for the last four years to build up our team. He's dedicated so much time and energy for us."

On the huddle that the USA team had before the game:
"We wanted to have a moment of silence to gather our thoughts. It was a moment of silence for the BACHMAN family and Hugh's family."