Saturday, 26 May 2018
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Kuzyutkin happy to pass test of mental strength

Russia outplayed USA en route to the gold-medal match

Russia coach Vladimir Kuzyutkin:
"I'm not totally pleased with the quality of our game today. Today's game was more about mental toughness than technical skill. We didn't really change our overall strategy, and that's why we won.
(On the final against Brazil) "Like the last 10 games, we will stick with our tactics and go for the victory. We just have to stay focused on the game tomorrow."

Russia captain Tatiana Kosheleva:
"We did our best. It was a hard match. The USA were a strong team but we followed our coach's strategies, and that’s the reason why we won.
(On the youthfulness of the team) "The fact we are young doesn't really mean that much. Young players are more emotional, and have more energy and desire to win. We have just won the match, so that's all we can think of. For the match tomorrow, we will think about that tomorrow. I have been emotional on the court, and I always try to give my positive energy to the team. I'm developing all the time not only in this tournament."

USA coach Hugh McCutcheon:
"They were better than us today. From our end, I thought we tried to implement some plans and systems, but at the end of the day, the Russian team is quite physical, and they can do some things that other teams in the world cannot. We struggled to stop them, but we couldn't. We learned lessons from today. We will come back tomorrow and try to do the best we can. The main difference in the second set was that our serving was more effective and we were able to get the Russians out of their system. As the match progressed, the reception of the Russian team improved, and their ability to side out was increased."

USA player Destinee Hooker:
"It was a well-fought match. Both teams played really hard and did their best but in the end, we lost. I was really sorry about that. Coming into the tournament, we came in with different strategies. Playing Russia today we changed it all around. We fought so hard today, I'm proud to be an American playing on this team. We have a lot of young players, including me, and we all need to develop. I feel that four years from now we'll be ready. I think we're still thinking about this match today, and we aren't thinking about tomorrow. We are just going to stay focused and get back to the drawing board and come out strong tomorrow."

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