USA setter Micah Christenson (11) celebrates with teammates
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 11, 2016 – The United States men’s team played their best game of the Olympic tournament when they badly needed putting a strong collective effort against hosts Brazil with excellent performance in all aspects of volleyball.
John Speraw, Coach of United States: That is what we needed tonight. This is the Olympic Games and we haven’t been playing well. In order for us to get a win against a great team in this environment we were going to have to fight for every point. Our guys did a great job at that.
I was very pleased with the continued improvement of our team. I thought we played a much better match against Italy than Canada and we played an even better game tonight especially at the service line. Our games were very aggressive and maintained that pressure throughout the course of the volleyball match. Ultimately, as in most volleyball matches, the serve and pass was the difference.
Micah Christenson, Setter of United States: “I think it was a collective effort. It took every single person scrapping every single ball to pull that out and to inspire everyone… Matt is scoring points for us and Aaron’s scoring points for us. But Erik Shoji’s making digs and Max Holt’s laying out making digs and he’s a middle blocker. You don’t expect a ton of those.
Erik Shoji, Libero of United States: They have really good servers. “We just had to fight off the serves. Some of (the passes) weren’t perfect. We can go back and make some of those betters. Overall, we just stuck together as a team with the three of us passing (Sander, Shoji and outside hitter Aaron Russell) and even Matt (Anderson). We’re just solid and that’s USA Volleyball and we’re really happy with that.
Lucas Saatkamp, Player of Brazil: They played very well, a great match. Both teams played on the same level. They deserve it.
Wallace de Souza, Player of Brazil: This was a very difficult match. Now we will play in our next match to do our best so that we will know whether we sure going to finish in first or third place in the group.