FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Lee hails 'unbelievable' team after USA scoop gold medal


The USA celebrate their superb win over Brazil

Florence, Italy, July 20, 2014 - USA's players and coach hailed an "unbelievable" 3-1 win (31-29, 21-25,25-20,25-23) over world no.1 ranked Brazil in the World League final on Sunday night.

"It's unbelievable, unbelievable – I am lost for words," said David Lee after getting his gold medal. "I’m feeling fantastic. We are a great team and our players are very young. Taylor Sander played an amazing game. Guys like him are the future. Tonight really couldnt’ve worked better."

USA coach John Speraw said: "I'm thrilled for my guys, I couldn't be more happy. It was a great final, the first set was just one point, two points the entire way through. I was thinking that Brazil start slow and would come back. The coach has done a great job. But we played about as good as we could. The difference between the teams was small."

"Looking ahead to the World Championships, it's a confidence booster. It's an opportunity to get on the podium. That hasn't happened much for this team. It's a great learning opportunity ahead of that. We have a tough pool but I'm optimistic. We can instil the value of teamwork in this side and get a good foundation. We have a nice mix of youth and veterans."

Taylor Sander, who was the final's top scorer with 24 points, and the tournament's MVP, was humble in victory. "I love my teammates. Getting the award is nice, but I never think about trying to do that. It's all about the team." 

"We lost the first game against Italy and didn't look so good, but we always wanted gold. We improved as the tournament went on. We should remember that we almost didn't make the World League Finals and it went down to the last match."

Brazil coach Bernardo Rezende said: "I'd like to congratulate John. USA were able to control the game. They had a great defence, they kept the ball alive. We made a lot of mistakes. It was a lesson for us, and we are frustrated, but congratulations to them. We have a lot of things to work on ahead of the World Championships. We have made some strides, but we need to be more consistent to compete at that tournament."

Brazil's captain Bruno Rezende was disappointed. "It's terrible to arrive in the final and lose but they played better than us tonight. We weren't aggressive enough tonight. But now we have to prepare for the next tournament. We are going to the World Championships to win."

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