Thursday, 13 May 2021
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 Match info | Press Conference
Bagnoli happy with the reaction of his team

Russia coach Daniele Bagnoli (left) and captain Alexey Kazakov at Sunday's news conference

Russia Coach Daniele Bagnoli: "Normally, the second match is much more interesting than the first match because both teams know each other better. For me, this second match was technically better than the first match. We lost one set probably because Japan played better than yesterday and we didn't have the same level of play in some of our fundamentals. We made many mistakes on our serves today - 20 mistakes is too much for our team.

"I am very happy about the reaction of my team after we lost the third set; for me it's very, very important to have a great reaction from my players. This makes me optimistic for the future because I like to see the team when the play is difficult, not when the play is easy. This really is the difference between great teams and normal teams - how you resolve problems when the situation is difficult.

"(Re: strength in depth/rotation) I think also tonight things were changing at moments in the first and second sets. Cheremisin had three nice serves and made a decisive difference in the first set. In the third set, I tried to change some players among the first six. We didn't get a result, not because of the new players, but because Japan played better than us. In the first set, I got a great reaction from my team. This is what I want to see from my team at every moment.

"Also, one of the most important points of strength for our team is service. I think we are one of the best in terms of service. Today, some players made too many mistakes, which made it more difficult for us to play.

"(Re: best Japan players) I think it was little bit different today from yesterday. Yesterday, the player with the best percentage of play was Fukuzawa. I think today the opposite (Shimizu) played better than yesterday because he made fewer mistakes."

Russia Captain Alexey Kazakov: "Before the game, I expected Japan to make better serves so reception would be tougher, and my expectations were confirmed, especially in the third set. As usual, Japan's defense was very good and they dug well.

"(Re: change of Japanese setter) We knew the first setter because we saw him yesterday, so we kind of knew what he would do, but we were surprised by the change of setter. He was very clever and he confused us a bit."

Japan Coach Tatsuya Ueta: "(Re. Transition attacks) We had 41 opportunities of transition attacks, while Russia only had 38 or 39. It seems that Japan had the better percentage. But the kill percentage was better for Russia than Japan, so that's something we have to work on. We must practice receiving spikes - it's so important to improve our initial reaction. The small things we have to work on are getting better little by little, and that's one good thing I could see today.

"(Re: poor blocking) The percentage was bad, so yes it's true, but it's maybe because Russia were quicker than we thought they would be. They were quick and we had to go left and right to try and block. They also tossed the ball high, which was confusing for the blockers. But still, we have to defeat the block, it's an important task the team must overcome. One bad thing today was when the team was down, we tried to do a higher set not a quick set. Overall, the new team is improving faster than last year's team."

Japan Captain Daisuke Usami: "Our task today was reacting to mistakes, especially kills by Russia. Today, things were sort of OK in the first and second set, so that's why it was close. After the third set, even though we had good reactions after making mistakes, we had too many blocked shots. Because of the high blocks, we had to think about the course of our spikes, but we couldn't do anything about that today. We were just spiking into the blocks and that was bad. We will face Bulgaria next, so that's something we must overcome."


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