We expected a tough match and it was: Kiraly


Osaka, Japan, September 29, 2019 – USA defeated Korea 3-1 (25-21, 25-16, 16-25, 25-22) in the first match on the final day of the FIVB Women’s World Cup at Osaka’s Edion Arena on Sunday. 

USA coach Karch Kiraly: "First, I want to say “Arigato” to the Japan Volleyball Association for a great World Cup, for their hospitality and welcome to all of the teams. That helps, because it’s a really long and difficult tournament. Congratulations to coach Lavarini and captain Miss Kim and the Korea team; they played a really good tournament. We have a lot of respect for the way they play, including yesterday when they had a great win against Brazil. So we expected a difficult match and it was. They have great serve and defence and they challenged us. But ultimately in this tournament, all our 14 players played important and critical roles and they have a lot to be proud of."

USA player Kelsey Robinson: "First, hats off to Korea; they played a great match. They pushed up the service line and ran a speedy offence, so they really challenged us. But I’m really proud of my team and the way we responded in the fourth set to take the win. I think this summer has been really exciting for our team with new and younger faces getting an opportunity to play at a high level. I think we have a lot of potential and room for growth. We have NORCECA to go back to and I think we can be a great team come 2020. We had the World Championship here last year and the World Cup this year and going into the Olympics [being here] is only going to help us with what to expect and to perform at the highest level."

USA player Chiaka Ogbogu: "I think Korea did a really good job of pushing us out of our system with their serve, but I like how we maintained our composure. From start to finish, we were really steady; we have a lot of trust in our circle. So, with that we started to play for each other and I like how we handled ourselves."

Korea coach Stefano Lavarini: "I think today’s match had two faces for us. I didn’t like the way we approached the match. I dreamed that we would be so good we’d be able to start and exert pressure as we did yesterday and in other matches. But we didn’t pay attention to some situations in the beginning. We couldn’t put pressure on their service and the United States in the first two sets, but especially the second, played really strong and their attackers were almost unstoppable, especially their opposite [Andrew Drews] who perhaps was used a little less in previous matches but used a lot today. We’ve had some problems facing opposites in this competition and their quality in this position is higher than other teams. In the second part, the girls responded in a good way to risk more and enjoy more and got the same feeling as yesterday when we had the will to be competitive with these amazing teams like Brazil. But we’re pretty happy about this tournament. I think this competition is really important because I’m trying to find the right balance but also trying to make innovations in the way they play, mixing together with the existing character of Korean volleyball. Playing in a high-level international competitions really helps me to “match and match” much more than in practice when we are only facing our way of playing, our physical qualities, our blocks, our skills. I’m not that experienced about my team and Korean volleyball, but I’m learning and I’m also learning a lot about they way they think, the way they feel and the connection between them. It’s not easy because we have different culture and also the lack of communication. But every day we spend together and face problems together makes us better and this tournament has helped us on our way."

Korea captain Kim Yeon Koung: "Of course, I’m unhappy that we weren’t able to get the win. We’re sad about this but in general I think it was a good game. We had good moments with our serve but not so many good moments with our block and defence. Also, the team was tired because it’s been a long tournament and also because of yesterday’s game. In the end, we did OK and overall we’re satisfied with our performance in this competition. It’s been a long season for me and my teammates and when we get back, the winter season starts in Korea."