USA take inspiration from Kerri Walsh Jennings' bronze medal victory


USA coach Karch Kiraly and his team were inspired by Kerri Walsh Jennings' bronze medal victory in beach volleyball

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 20, 2016 - USA coach Karch Kiraly and his team took inspiration from Kerri Walsh Jennings' bronze medal victory in beach volleyball, which inspired them to win a bronze medal against the Netherlands at Maracanazinho on Saturday.

Karch Kiraly, Coach of USA:

On the match:
"We don't think of it in terms of pressure, pressure is what you say to yourself inside your head. We just wanted to walk off the court today proud of the effort we put in. Everybody made a contribution tonight. Foluke Akinradewo was an absolute warrior coming back on less than two days' notice to be able to play this match so we didn't feel a ton of pressure to have to win this medal but we sure were hungry."

On winning a bronze medal:
"It feels phenomenal. Kerri described it to us as maybe the toughest match that has to be played in sports because everybody who plays for the bronze wanted to be playing for a gold medal and they have to figure out a way to get back to a place after some disappointment.

"I've gotten to win three gold medals as a player, a silver as a coach and a bronze as a coach and what certainly hurts the most, only because you finish the tournament with a loss, was the silver medal."

On the team's jump float serve:
"We do a lot of measurements and a lot of analysis and the best serve in the international women's volleyball game is a jump float and that's why we switched to it two years ago and you haven't seen a single jump spin from us since we changed in early September 2014."

Christa Harmotto Dietzen, Captain of USA:

"We faced the Netherlands several times this year and they are a team that have improved every time we've played them. Obviously they're coached very well and they're a young team and they're going to be a competitor for a long time in the years to come.

"They battled hard and they never gave up and it was a privilege to compete against them in the bronze medal match. Our team, our goal after responding to the loss in the semifinals match, we met and we talked about how Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross responded with their grit and they were themselves. Our team is a team that always responds really well to adversity and I couldn't be more honoured to be a part of this group and bring home this bronze medal."

Giovanni Guidetti, Coach of Netherlands:

On the match:
"The USA were better than us in every part of the game. That's not really a big surprise. I just want to say I am extremely proud of what my team did and I want to thank all of my players and staff for an incredible effort in this Olympics and to be here and play a final for bronze medal against the United States after it was so close (for us) to win the match against China in the semifinals. It's something that we couldn't even dream a couple of months ago and one year ago we didn't even think about.

"In life and in sports I think you need time to achieve the big results. I think maybe it would have been too early to get a medal in this Olympics. The team needs time to improve and they need to grow up. This is basically our second year of work and our first Olympics so I cannot think something better than what we did."

On inspiration from Kerri Walsh Jennings:
"We took basically the same inspiration also because there was this great interview from Walsh Jennings after the match. We tried to understand how great a bronze medal is at the Olympics."

Maret Balkestein-Grothues, Captain of Netherlands:
"First of all congratulations to USA. We want to be everything but not fourth this tournament. I am really disappointed but we can be proud of ourselves. First of all we all have to think about this match and we relax a little. We had a chance to take a medal but we didn't do it. USA did a good job in blocking defence."


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