Czech Republic's coach Zdenek Smejkal at the press conference
Okayama, Japan, May 31, 2015 - After a disappointing loss to the the host Japan team to open their World League journey, the Czech Republic came very close to losing once again. But after Saturday’s match where coach Zdenek Smejkal felt his players lacked fighting spirit, his squad showed great tenacity by stealing a comeback win 3-2 (22-25, 20-25, 26-24, 25-23, 15-11) to disappoint an energized Okayama crowd.Japan coach Masashi Nambu:
"In the beginning we started well, but during the third set we weren’t passing well and dropped the set. In the fourth we didn’t perform well, I think we lacked stamina due to just starting training in early May. We still need to improve our stamina if we expect to compete at our best in a full match."Japan captain Hideomi Fukatsu:
"We wasted our chance here, because we really thought we could take that third set. As a setter, I think maybe I depend too much on Ishikawa, and when they defend him well, it really hurts our game. I regret going to him a little too much instead of Shimizu and our middle blockers."
Czech Republic captain Ales Holubec:
"What can I say, it’s our first victory, and I’m really happy. We used all 12 players almost and everyone helped. We tapped into the collective power of the team as a whole and managed to come back from down two sets. I’m really satisfied."Czech Republic coach Zdenek Smejkal:
The first sets were really hard for us, lots of defense and a high level of volleyball. We had some luck at the end of the third set and managed to win that one. In the fourth set the momentum was finally on our side, and I’m really happy we finished it out with a win."