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Matthew Anderson vs Egor Kliuka | USA vs Russia | FINAL VNL 2019

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Chicago, USA, July 14, 2019 – Russia claimed their second straight FIVB Volleyball Nations League title after it defeated USA 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20) on Sunday evening in Chicago.

Russia Head Coach Tuomas Sammelvuo: “I think we didn’t expect to win when we started. We focused on getting better day by day. The VNL is a very tough tournament, especially this year with the travel all over the world. We had very few practices to start. Seeing those guys enjoying playing together, not just on the court. We have a good group, good people.”

Russia Head Coach Tuomas Sammelvuo on young players taking a larger role: “I am happy because we have some new players at this level with big roles for the first time. So that is great.”

Russia Head Coach Tuomas Sammelvuo on difference in the match: “I think we were patient because we knew USA was a great passing team. We wanted to play a long match because they also played five sets late. Maybe their serving and passing wouldn’t be as effective. We started the game in trouble with our opposite, but then he was able to get the most important balls down when we really needed it. It was a team effort, to believe and to trust in each other. We played as a team.”

Russia Head Coach Tuomas Sammelvuo on importance of controlling USA’s Matt Anderson: “We managed to control Matt Anderson, the key player, and Taylor Sander in attack. Blocking was a difference while their reception broke down.”

Russia Player Dmitry Volkov: “It feels fantastic because we are very proud. We are missing a lot of our top players, so we didn’t expect to win. So we are very happy. With a new coach, we have a new team and played very strong.”

USA Head Coach John Speraw: “Gosh, we just got beat by a team that was a little better than us tonight. I think we had our chances in the first set. There were some ebbs and flows where I thought we were the better team, and they just made a lot of plays at the service line. At the end of the day, we didn’t serve the ball as well as we should have so we had enough scoring opportunities. They got more efficient offensively as the night went on.”

USA Player Micah Christenson: “It is hard to say. I thought they turned up the service pressure quite a bit. We could have turned up our service pressure a little more. I thought our passers did well, fought off a lot of hard serves. We gave it our all. I am proud how we fought.”

USA Player Micah Christenson on what USA learned in the tournament: “We learned a lot. We learned a lot about players who come off the bench especially.”
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