My players responded positively - Speraw


USA coach John Speraw rallies his players against France on Friday

Osaka, Japan, September 15, 2017 – USA coach John Speraw talked about how the players responded positively in their 3-0 win over France on Friday, following Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to Iran in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Grand Champions Cup.

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USA coach John Speraw:
Against Iran, we played such good volleyball in the first two sets but didn’t maintain our focus. Today, we played equally well. We were very good in service-reception and even better in serving and blocking. This time we again took a 2-0 lead and kept our focus and we needed to against a very good France team. It’s very painful any time you lose after being 2-0 up. It’s particularly painful because it felt like we lost our edge and competitiveness. We started to get frustrated and we got negative and that made us worse, and we lost the match.

We talked quite a bit about the thought process of that moment and we talked about the opportunity that we have. We have a great group of players, on and off the court, and I think that we should be a volleyball team that’s competing for medals in every tournament that we’re in and we shouldn’t take that for granted and take it easy at certain moments because it appears that we’re going to win. We have to have a sense of urgency all the time. This is a special group and potentially it could be a special time but we have to make it special. I think we saw them respond today very positively – you could see it in their body language and the way they communicated was very positive and that’s the team that we should be. That’s what we should be known for and I think we saw that character today.

USA captain David Smith: I think there were a lot of things for us to be happy about today in the way we played. The good thing was that we learned our lesson from the last match and were able to build those things. I’m very proud of the team for keeping their focus all the way through to the end and being able to keep the pressure on France.

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France coach Laurent Tillie: I think we were up against a well-organised American team who really showed their form. Their service and reception was extraordinary. Curiously, our attack percentage was not bad but maybe we didn’t do well in other aspects. The important thing was we could learn a very good volleyball lesson and we need to make the most out of it.

France captain Benjamin Toniutti:
We were up against a very strong American team today. It was a disappointing day for us as USA played very well. For us, we weren’t stable overall and the difference in levels showed in today’s game. USA are in great condition and France has to develop more and be more consistent. Last year and earlier this year, we were in good form and we want to recapture that form.


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