FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Velasco says serves, blocks keyed win over Japan

Japan opposite Yusuke Ishijima is blocked by an Iranian double block; many of the Japanese spikers got to feel the same experience on their last game at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium as they lost in straight sets to the reigning Asian champions

Tokyo, Japan, November 24, 2013 - Unfortunately there was not much to celebrate for hosts Japan on the last day of the Men's World Grand Champions Cup as the home heroes lacked quality and consistency and were eventually downed by Asian champions Iran in straight sets to finish winless in the tournament.

Iran coach Julio Velasco: We created several problems for them with our serves. We blocked well. Our setters played good. Our confidence was high for this match. It is our first time to play in such a high-level tournament. I am very proud of our players. All of Iran is proud of them.

Japan coach Gary Sato: We ran into a buzzsaw tonight. Iran is playing very hot right now. They have been together for three years with a great coach and have kind of emerged under the radar. They are hungry, have good experience and played well tonight.

Iran captain Saeid Marouflakrani: Japan played without confidence. We created problems for them with our serves. Our team plays with all 12 players as one. It was a good tournament for Iran volleyball.

Japan captain Kota Yamamura: Iran is the Asian champion. We must beat them if we want to become Asian champion again. We have to think of schemes of how to beat them. We must learn what is lacking in our skills and classify what is good.

Japan player Kunihiro Shimizu: Throughout the tournament it was tough for us to get points. Our spikes were blocked and we lost momentum. We have to hit spikes that lead to points.

Japan player Tatsuya Fukuzawa: Throughout the tournament our ability for sideouts was not high. Our serve and passing ability was not good. It was easy to attack us with the high block. We were more reactive than active. We must work on passing, sideout and combination play.

Japan player Yuta Yoneyama: There is a big difference in our serves and receptions compared to the other team. We could have worked better with these. We made more mistakes on our serves than effective points. We have to improve for the future.

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