Sunday, 28 February 2021
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Press Info - Press Conference
USA hold on against Russia

USA's Lloy Ball finds the funny side
 Vladimir ALEKNO (RUS) - coach

On the Russian team's recovery in the third and fourth sets and their loss of the final set:

"Our team's spirit and morale was enough to help us pull even. With regards to the final set, I'll say that our team is young and not experienced."

Hugh McCUTCHEON (NZL) - USA coach

On the match:

"We knew it would be a tough match. I'm proud of the way our guys were able to deal with the pressure of the consistency Russia showed in the second half."

"For these guys this is a chance at the podium and I'm very pleased for them."

On losing the third and fourth sets to Russia:

"They're great players, they let that go and focused on the next play, the next task at hand. It's easy to get wrapped up in the big picture, but it's a testament to the character of this team that they were able bring it back to the present, the next play. Of course I'm very pleased to advance to the finals."

On his understated reaction to the victory:

"I'm a fairly reserved guy, I don't wear my heart on my sleeve. I don't mean anything by it, I'm happy for the win. I wanted to shake the hand of the Russian coach after a great match, he's a great coach. But I'm not going to run around like a headless chicken, it's just not me."

On the status of the USA Volleyball team among American sports fans:

"I think this team represents what's good about team sports. The sum of their hearts is greater than the individual aspects of the team. If these guys wanted to do individual sports, they'd play tennis. But they want to be part of something bigger than themselves and Volleyball is the mechanism they chose."

"This bunch of guys play selflessly with no personal agenda. There's a lot of unity and strength in the group. I don't know if that's of any interest to America but that's what they're missing."

On four-time Olympian Lloy BALL's (USA) return to the team for the competition before retiring:

"I think it's very meaningful for Lloy. It was a risk initially, for him and for us, to return. But along with the risk there was a lot of good discussion and trust. The trust has paid significant dividends for us."


Vadim KHAMUTTSKIKH (RUS) - captain

On losing the chance for a place in the Gold medal match:

"We have to get ready for the Bronze medal match tomorrow, and we hope to win a medal."

Thomas HOFF (USA) - captain

On the USA's win over Russia:

"Awesome team performance. The thing that really sticks with me is our last break. We had some confusion, the guys were pretty amped, and Hugh (McCUTCHEON - USA coach, NZL) came over to us and said: 'Here's what we're gonna do on this serve.' It had a great calming effect on us. An absolutely beautiful performance."

On whether the team is looking to live up to the legacy of the last USA Men's Volleyball team to win Gold in the 1988 Seoul Olympics:

"I don't want myself or any of the group to shoulder any more pressure or concentrate on anything else other than just playing games. I don't want to have to think about slipping into those shoes, they are enormous shoes to fill."

"When we're on the court playing Volleyball, it's not spoken about. We have an opportunity to do what they did, but we have a lot of work to do before that happens."