Tokyo, Japan, November 30, 2007: Comments from the official FIVB press conference after the Japan-USA game on Friday.
Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon: Of course we are very happy to come away with a victory this evening. It is always tough playing Japan in Japan and tonight was no exception. After the two days off our team was able to get back into a pretty good rhythm. Once we settled down into a good service rhythm and got some block and defence going we played pretty well.
Captain Thomas Hoff: I thought we played a good match, not a great match, but we were well prepared again. We came out with a good mindset to see a lot of different options that Japan has played throughout the tournament. We did not see Japan ’s best level. It was a good effort by us to stay pretty focused, especially in the second game that was pretty close. It was important to win that game because we were leading 2-0.
Reid Priddy: It was not a great match but it was a good match and we are happy to win. There was a lot of plays that we didn’t make that we can make, so we need to improve that. It was nice to have a couple of days off and get back into the rhythm we were in before and get a good start to the last round.
Head Coach Tatsuya Ueta: I didn’t think there was much difference between the American team and Japan , but we made mistakes we don’t usually make and that is the reason we lost. One thing that was good today was that we did not lose our concentration like we did in the match against Puerto Rico.
Captain Masaji Ogino: We are very sorry about the result, but we saw a good outcome from our practice of serve-reception. The important time was the second set.
Kunihiro Shimizu: In my play, my attacking was good, but the digging and service reception was not very good so I have to improve more. The very last moment of the second set was the moment when we could have won, but we lost the last two points.
Yu Koshikawa: I came in towards the end of the first set and I focused on making a good mood and good rhythm. I made some mistakes but my offence as a whole was very good. I thought I did a good job. Generally I could dig quite well but I could have done much better, especially when the blockers performed well on the spikes of Gardner . At the critical moment we could not get one or two more points, and that decided the result of the game. This is an important thing to beat a strong team.