US, Australia give young players chance to shine


Australia coach Roberto Santilli talks to his team during their match against the USA on Saturday.

Dallas, USA July 2, 2016 - The United States played like a team determined to get to the World League Final Round in its 3-0 (25-14, 26-24, 25-15) win over Australia on Saturday. Both the United States and Australia used younger players in their starting lineups on Saturday in hopes of giving veterans a rest and youngsters some experience.

John Speraw, coach of USA: I think our depth has really improved over the last few years. Obviously the inclusion of a few young guys who have now had the opportunity to go play overseas and gain some good experience has helped. I think a perfect example is Murphy Troy who has really had a nice professional career and made good decisions about where he’s gone and played and he’s played for good coaches and continued to improve and earned the right to get out and play volleyball for us. We’ve developed great depth on every position on the volleyball court.

We’ve talked about Russia a little bit earlier in the week. I think there’s a lot of familiarity with a lot of these players because a couple of our key guys play in Russia over the professional years. They do have a couple new guys we haven’t had an opportunity to compete against, so it’ll be interesting to get out on the volleyball court and see how we do.

Roberto Santilli, coach of Australia: We’re a team that sometimes takes steps forward and some steps back. Today we played better for something and worse for something else. We know we have to work, so we can’t think it’s so easy for us to compete against the U.S. But tomorrow we play Bulgaria and that’s a good game because they have more or less the same level we have.

Micah Christenson, USA: I think we just approach the match with being aggressive with as much energy and fire as possible. We know that whatever lineup we put out there we’re always going to compete. We’ve got such a deep, talented team and we’re super confident with whoever is out there and it was a great time tonight.
Yesterday we were a little timid and it took us a while to get going, but tonight we just said, let’s go have fun and swing as hard as we can on the balls that are in good situations and we did and we’re really happy with our performance

Grigory Sukochev, captain of Australia: (On the U.S. attack) Just their consistency, they have a lot of good weapons in different areas especially their middle and back, so that was working for them. It’s a good experience for (young players), especially against a high level of opposition. But in saying that, we need to build our consistency a little bit and take away what we can from games like this. There are some younger players now getting opportunities that we wouldn’t have gotten five or 10 years ago, so it’s good.


All the News