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NEWS

Antiga: "We are now playing for a ticket to the Finals in Rio"

 
Coaches and captains gather for the press conference in Krakow
 
Krakow, Poland, July 2, 2015 - Poland and USA play twice in Krakow this weekend in FIVB Volleyball World League Pool B. Coaches and captains attended the press conference on Thursday.

FIVB Supervisor Miguel Quintana said: “On behalf of FIVB President Dr. Ary Graça F°, I would like to congratulate the teams and coaches and welcome them here in Krakow.”

Deputy Major of Krakow for Education and Sport Katarzyna Cięciak said:  I would like to welcome you here on behalf of Krzysztof Majchorwski, President of Krakow. A year ago, FIVB Volleyball World League matches between Poland and Brazil inaugurated our new venue - the Tauron Krakow Arena. This year, Poland are back as world champions, and USA are here as the FIVB Volleyball World League 2014 winners. I am sure that the level of both matches will be high. Poland loves volleyball, Krakow also loves volleyball. Both matches are sold out – the arena could have been a couple thousand seats larger and would still have been a full house. Saturday’s game will be played on USA Independence Day, so I would like to give my best wishes to our guests on this occasion.

Polish Volleyball Federation Vice-President Andrzej Lemek said: Krakow is my hometown and I have no doubt that it is the most beautiful city in Poland. I would like to welcome Mr. Miguel Quintana and teams. I hope that level of the games will fulfill expectations of the spectators. I'm sure that this is not the last game played here in Krakow.

USA coach John Speraw said:
We are very happy to be back in Krakow. We are fortunate as we spent ten days in Krakow playing at the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Poland 2014, in the first group stage. Polish spectators are not just fans of Polish volleyball but of volleyball in general. More than fifteen thousand spectators came here to watch our game against Italy last year - this is a good example of their enthusiasm. We expect another wonderful match here.

Asked about how USA have managed to win all their matches against Poland this season, and during the World Championship, Speraw added:  “Well this is a secret, because coach Antiga is here and he is taking notes (laugh). I would love to have a secret like that, but it just happens that we play very good volleyball. We know that those matches have no impact on the games here. We have to constantly adapt, improve and search for new ways to win against Poland.”

Poland coach Stephane Antiga said: “I'm happy to be back here in Poland and in Krakow. The venue is big and beautiful. We played two important matches here: against Russia during the Wagner Memorial and against Brazil in last year's FIVB Volleyball World League. We are now playing for a ticket to the Group 1 Finals in Rio. I'm sure that these will be great matches in front of a great crowd at the Tauron Arena Krakow.”

Asked about Bartosz Kurek’s injury and about players who joined the team after the European Games in Baku, Antiga said: “Kurek is feeling very well. He had normal training here in Krakow. Konarski played in Baku and he did well there, but our current second opposite is Jakub Jarosz.”

USA captain David Lee said: “As our coach said, we are happy to be back in Krakow as we played here during the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Poland 2014. Like coach Antiga said, this weekend will provide some great matches. We are already qualified, but we want to take these matches against a strong team as a chance to prepare for the Finals. We are taking these games seriously.”

Poland captain Michal Kubiak said:
We have come back to Krakow after a very long and hard tourney. Now it is history, but without victories here it will be meaningless. We are very focused and motivated to qualify. Winning our next match is our goal. I wish both teams good health, great games, a good level in the matches, and may Poland win.”





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