Sofia, Bulgaria, September 22, 2018 – USA qualified for the third round of the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship with an emphatic 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-18) win over co-hosts Bulgaria to ensure the top spot in Pool G.
Valentin Bratoev, player of Bulgaria: “The Americans were like Monstars from Space Jam, we didn’t have Buggs Bunny and Michael Jordan. Physically they are on another level. These guys jump half a meter above us. You can’t stop them if you haven’t their physical assets and we obviously didn’t. I think they will be world champions. We'll come out to beat Canada in our last game in Sofia and I'm sure we'll do it.”
Plamen Konstantinov, coach of Bulgaria: “The Americans put us to extraordinary pressure through their servе. Not from one, two or three players but from all six on the court. They have a team with brutal servers. There‘s no other team like this. It‘s very difficult to withstand this pressure unless you respond the same way. We did it but only in a few instances. And this is not enough against a team with such athletes. From the great serve came the other very important detail of their domination – the phenomenal play in defense.”
John Speraw, head coach of USA: “I couldn’t tell you who the best player of the team was, because everyone was playing great! Bulgaria came out and played great early but we were poised. We played our volleyball, came back into the set to closed it out. We played in front of lovely crowd today! I really like Bulgaria as a team and as a country! I had been in Sofia a couple of times and it’s always a good place to come and play! My understanding is that we are in final six right now so I have to think a little bit about maybe to taking the opportunity to rest some of my players.”
Daniel McDonnell, player of USA: “Bulgaria is a good team playing in front of a home crowd which was quite a lot noisy. It was a difficult thing to get a straight-sets win but we are happy about it.”