"Continue or go home" was the motto of this important match in Tokuyama. The USA was not able to cope with the tension of this situation at all! Many individual errors where the main reason of the quick Bulgarian lead in the first set 3-10. Controlling there own play any, easy set was there after 15 min. ( 3-15). Receiving the good Bulgarian serve was a too big of a problem. Again it took only 5 min. to a 0-5 down for the USA. Setter Davidson was replaced by Johnson in an attempt to change the odds. It seemed to work for a while but good defense and hard spiking on Bulgarian side forced USA to panic and bad performance 4-10. The Japanese crowd chooses the side of the underdog by loud cheering but unfortunately it did not bring the result (7-15). The third set showed the same situation Bulgaria leading quickly 0-9. But USA fought for survival and came back into the set in an impressive way 11-12. In a spectacular end of the set it was Bulgaria that straightened out the record (13-15).
Question to the Both Captains: Now that the preliminary round in Tokuyama is over. What do you think of your performance. The Captain of Bulgaria: Ms. Emilia Pashova I made a goal for this tournament before we came to Japan, which is to go to the quarterfinal rounds. We are very happy now that we have achieved this. Our play seems to be getting better. The Captain of USA: Ms. Salima Davidson I think we have a lot to learn as a team, and tonight was a good example. The players of Bulgaria are very experienced, and we would be very happy to be able to play like them. As a team, we have been training for one and a half year. However, we will go back to our country and train very hard to come back next year. Question to the Captain of Bulgaria: You have mentioned that your play was getting better. What do you mean by that. There are many players in our team who play in foreign countries, and we practiced only for ten days as a team this time. Through the round in Tokuyama, I felt our teamwork got more stable. Question to the Captain of USA: Where in the match of tonight did you feel the difference of strength between you and the team of Bulgaria. The members of Bulgarian team are very strong at the net, and they play solidly. They are experienced and understand what it takes to win. Their patience and calmness helped them winning the match. I believe that this is what we need to learn in our team. Question to the Head Coach of the Winning Team: Bulgaria: Mr. Stefan Panchev Looking back the preliminary rounds in Tokuyama, what do you think of your players' performance and what are your expectations for the quarterfinal rounds. In the first and second sets, we could play in our own way, but in the third set, we could not; USA gave us a really hard time. The stability of attacking, receiving, and serving is necessary for us. Question to the Head Coach of the Lost Team: USA: Mr. Michael Haley Looking back the preliminary rounds in Tokuyama, what do you think of your players' performance. Although this tournament was very difficult for you, how are you going to prepare for future tournaments. Even though we lost, we are not disappointed. We have no players on the team that have played in international tournaments before. The World Championships this time was a very good experience for the players. We need to develop their skills individually. Question to the Head Coach of Bulgaria: Are you going to continue to use today's starting members. Yes. I will use these six players as starting players continuously. However, we need to develop power in young players, which is what we learned from the team of USA. Question to the Head Coach of USA: The player from Cuba, Ms. Zemaitis, seems to have changed the flow of the game. Are you going to have her in as the ace player in more matches in the future. Although she is very young, she has a capability to be an ace player in the future. With more experience and training, she will be one of the starting players in the near future. Question to the Head Coach of USA: It seems that your young players were not so good in this tournament. Is there a delay in the growth of new players in the USA? Our young players need to build individual skills. We need another good setter and also another ace player. They may motivate our young players to play better.