Heynen: We had to work very hard to make our points against Russia


Hiroshima, Japan, October 9, 2019 – Poland claimed a third consecutive win at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup on Wednesday, recovering from a set behind to beat Russia 3-1 (25-27, 25-21, 25-18, 25-22) at Hiroshima Green Arena.

Poland coach Vital Heynen: “First of all, looking at all the teams playing I think Argentina and Russia play very good volleyball, so we knew it would be a very difficult match. I think the biggest changes I see with Russia with the new coach (is they) play much clever volleyball, so we have to work very hard to make our points. We played an OK match, I think we had a chance to win the first set but didn’t do that. I think with the team formations we have we should win. And I think the coach (Russia coach Tuomas Sammelvuo) has to be careful, because his captain is completely right, I think the serve mistakes are maybe the balance in the match in the end.”

Poland player Karol Klos
: “Russia are always good opponents. They are playing really well and having a good tournament. They fight, and we are so happy that we won."

Russia coach Tuomas Sammelvuo
: “I think we played an OK game. Especially in attack, I think we were at a good level. Of course I think there were some balls at the end of the set that could have gone a little different. As the captain (Sergey Grankin) said very well, we were behind many times so trying to do something with the break point is also one reason that we (made) many service mistakes. When the opponent is serving very well you try to force it a little bit and there are some more mistakes.

"Overall, when we were point by point, it was an OK game for us. It’s not seen in the statistics, but there are those where every touch of the ball – you play defence (and) it goes seven metres from the net or it goes in the middle of the court; after maybe great defence who is setting doesn’t hear the attacker who’s ready to hit – so there are these dynamics also. Of course against an opponent like Poland these things have to be better. But I’m happy our young guys are improving, they are getting a lot of responsibility. So that’s our goal, to improve game by game and of course to get some more victories. Congratulations to Poland. It’s always interesting to play a good tactical team, a very good serving team, changing a lot of different serves, and that’s it.”

On whether Andrey Surmachevskiy deserves to start, and on Fedor Voronkov’s performance: “I think everybody deserves to be on the court. All the players that are here want to play like crazy, that’s normal, then we choose the players on the court. It’s always a choice before the game, who starts and not, so it’s our job. ‘Deserves’ or not, I don’t know. We are playing mostly with (Yaroslav) Podlesnykh and (Fedor) Voronkov now, and I think they did a good job today. 

"Andrey has been our joker change in the serve, and he has resolved a few sets for us. Great job from him, first time in the national team and he is doing a big job already. And we will see, we still have many games left. Voronkov had a good game in attack. He is improving and I think he’s a rare player. He’s tall, 206 (cm), has pretty natural reception, passing, and I think those players they just need to be more often in these places to play these games. Get experience playing, play in these games, get responsibility, get good things, and it’s (the same) for everybody. With him, like with all the players, we always hope to get a stable game. Maybe for him that would be the thing, to play stable all the time.”

On what the team can improve ahead of tomorrow’s game
: “This tournament is a very long and tough and heavy tournament, so after the games we think mostly about recovery. Now we have to see how our libero (Valentin) Golubev is doing. That’s something. But then, improve game by game. I would hope to have less service mistakes tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow we will make this, but (it won’t be) because we have changed something. We will try to improve.”

Russia captain Sergey Grankin: “Overall I think this was an interesting game. Our side was always trailing and we continued to be put under pressure by Poland, which made this a difficult match. We had to suffer for a long time under that pressure, which is why we had this result. Plus we made a lot of service mistakes, which I think was also a big factor.”