Long Beach, California, USA, June 18, 2016 - The USA played in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,000 at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, California, and used that energy to defeat Japan 25-16, 25-23, 25-21 on Saturday night.
Karch Kiraly, coach USA: We love playing Japan. They are one of the legendary programs in all of international volleyball, especially on the women’s side. They fight with such heart and never give up. We know we have to work really hard to earn every point, and that is good for us to work our tails off in the long rallies. The crowd was phenomenal thanks to a lot of people, especially Matt Garthoff and the VOL-B-QUE crew. Our players got a chance to say hello to them at the huge volleyball tailgate party. I got a chance to say hello to them, and it was such a great day for volleyball.”
Christa Dietzen, USA captain: Well, I thought we got our offense going. There were so many times that our pins were one-on-one, our middles were one-on-one. So Alisha Glass did a great job of distributing the ball evenly. I thought our defense gave us a lot of opportunities to score in transition.”
Masayoshi Manabe, Japan, coach: We lost because of USA’s blocks and service. We just need to work a little bit harder by using our younger players and we will do our best each match.
Mai Yamaguchi, Japan, captain: Because of the American’s team service, it was hard to play our game. We need to work on receiving their service so it will let us play our own combinations of volleyball.