FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Speraw says attitude kept players focused in victory

US American coach John Speraw was pleased with his team's effort in their match with Italy

Tokyo, Japan, November 22, 2013. The USA opened the second stage of the 2013 FIVB Men's World Grand Champions Cup with a 3-2 victory over Italy on Friday at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. With this result the NORCECA champions improved their record to 2-1 in the competition while Italy lost their second tie-break after they had done so also on Wednesday in their game with Iran.

USA coach John Speraw: This was a close, high-level match. The margin of victory was very small. Our players had a good attitude throughout the match and never got down. That was important as we made key plays late in the sets. I'm most pleased with the way we competed in this match.

Italy coach Mauro Berruto: This kind of match leaves a bitter taste. We played almost 2 hours, 30 minutes of high-level volleyball. The U.S. was better than us in the final points of the fourth and fifth sets. I enjoyed that this young team is playing high-level volleyball.

USA captain Sean Rooney: This was not a beautiful match. It is important to win the ugly one. Anderson played well for us. Clark came off the bench and contributed. We're excited to get out of here with a win.

USA player Matthew Anderson: It is always a battle when we play Italy, especially in the past five or six years. They have a young team that plays fast. Lee passed well for us and Zaytsev was good for them. We served strongly toward the end and put pressure on them. It is easy to get frustrated when you lose set points like we did in the fourth, but we kept it together.

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