Wichita, Kansas, USA, July 9, 2010 – The United States and Russia will close out FIVB World League Intercontinental Round play on Saturday with a match that means everything for the USA.
A 3-0 or 3-1 win over Russia could mean a trip to the Final Round in Cordoba, Argentina for the United States. This was something that the USA wasn’t sure would be possible after it lost its first two pool play matches to Russia on July 4-5 in Ekaterinburg, then losing another pool play match to Finland on June 25.
U.S. head coach Alan Knipe is looking forward to seeing how his team responds in the second match.
“This is a nice challenge for us to come out on the second night and try to keep our level of play high,” Knipe said. “I expect Russia will play well.”
Russia’s coach Daniele Bagnoli was waiting to find out the status of his players after Friday’s match before making any predictions.
“I want to find out more about the condition of our players,” he said. “I don’t know what kind of team you will see.”