Hoffman Estates, USA, June 21, 2019 – Team USA led Japan in blocks (12-3) and aces (8-2) as it swept the Asian side, 3-0 on Friday in an FIVB Volleyball Nations League match.
USA Captain Taylor Sander: “I was happy to be back in the States playing. I was just having fun and playing free. My teammates were helping me stay loose and be myself. So it was a good match. It felt good to get that win and we’re excited to play tomorrow night. I haven’t played in the States in a long time. I was with my baby last summer. Being able to play in front of a home crowd is something special. Thanks to all the fans who came out.
“We always have concerns with Canada so we’re going to prepare well and hope to play with some good energy tomorrow night.
“We’re always expecting them to serve tough. That’s one of their strongest things. They’re a little bit smaller in their block so they have to serve aggressively. I thought we did a good job handling their tough float serves. They were missing a couple of players tonight. We were still happy with the way we competed.”
USA Coach John Speraw: “I thought we blocked the ball really well and had great energy early in the match. I thought our intensity was great. But it really started with our block and defence. Great to see Thomas Jaeschke back on the court. I think the guys were excited for him and that’s a large part why I think the energy was so great.”
Japan Captain Masahiro Yanagida: “The U.S. serve put too much pressure on us. We had problems passing their serves because we are saving players for the next two days.”
Japan Coach Yuichi Nakagaichi: “I’m not disappointed. We kept our starting players for the next two days. The U.S. is pretty good at serving. Our passing suffered so much. Today was not our day.”