Łódź, Poland, June 26, 2016 - Argentina claimed an historic FIVB Volleyball World League win over Russia on the last day of Group 1D in Łódź and did so without losing a set.
Julio Velasco, coach of Argentina: It was a strange match because Russia didn’t play their volleyball today. As we talked before the match with the players, there are teams stronger than us but if they don’t play at their highest level we can beat them and we must be prepared to do this. When we play against as strong teams as Poland, Russia, USA, Brazil, Italy or France and they perform their maximum we aren’t likely to win but we must take our chances with such opponents when they don’t play at their level.
Today Russian players seemed to be a bit tired, they did a lot of mistakes in the service, weren’t as strong and efficient in attack as usual. We played balanced volleyball between service and reception as well as between block and defence. We need to play like this because we aren’t physical team we have to play technical, balanced volleyball to be able to fight and win with the strongest teams in the world which can win the match with strong service or attack. And we managed to do this today, we made a surprise and beat Russia 3-0.
Luciano De Cecco, captain of Argentina: We are very pleased. We did a fantastic job in an important game. We won with a team stronger than us, and I guess we never won with them in the World Leauge before. We are very happy now, and we can enjoy this moment and then concentrate on the next matches. We never dreamed or thought about winning against Olympic Champions and it's historic victory. Now let's wait and see if we qualify for the Final Six.
Alexey Verbov, Russia: Today is a very bad day for us, not because we lost and neither because we played really bad, but because we didn’t believe in ourselves. And it makes me really angry and disappointed. We wanted to play and to win but it wasn’t enough. Yesterday we played well and had a good day. And the fact that we have such big fluctuation of our game is not a good sign for a team which want to be in the top, so it is a very good lesson for us and I hope that it’s better to have this lesson today than in future. It was like a slap in the face. I am not sure if we will be able to qualify for the Final Six, but I hope that it is still possible with some luck. Now we have to win the next three matches in the USA. I hope that thanks to this lesson we will grow up in our heads, because this defeat wasn’t only caused by our game, it was a mentality problem, too.