WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - 13 November 1998



Match #1 - Pool A (Preliminary Round)
KOR beat EGY 3-0 (15-10, 15-7, 15-6) - duration 1:27
13/11/98, start time: 15:30 - Attendance: 1,750
    FIVB Press Release
    Koreans overcome Egypt for winning start

    Wing spiker Shin Jin-Sik stole the limelight from his more illustrious team-mate Kim Se-Jin Friday to steer Korea to a 15-10, 15-7, 15-6 victory over Egypt in the opening Pool A match of the 24-nation Men's World Volleyball Championships. Korea made a hesitant start and needed 1 hour 33 minutes before securing the two points at Fukuoka's Marina Messe Stadium where host-nation Japan was scheduled to play Spain later Friday. The highly-rated Kim Se-Jin, sidelined for two months with an injured right knee, was guilty of missing several easy spikes in the long drawn-out 40 minute first-sert and it was Korea's other wing spiker, 23 year-old Shin, with his jump serve and decisive finishing who emerged as the best attacker on court. Egypt's weak blocking was a fatal flaw in the African team's make-up. The Egyptians looked like taking first blood when they led 9-5 in the first set, but once the Koreans found their rhythm there was never any doubt about the outcome. Egypt's giant left-hander Ayman Elnekery (2.11 meters) was too often off target with his spikes, failing too capitalize on some precision setting by team captain Maged Mostafa.

    KOREAN head coach Jin JUN-Taik
    Q; What's your comment on today's match?
    A; "Since we didn't know about the style of volleyball Egypt plays, we struggled to win. Egypt's
    volleyball has speed and their setter (Maged Mostafa) was good. Overall we couldn't make the
    most of what we have in today's match."
    Q; In the 1st set, you rallied back from an inferior position. What advice did you give the
    A; "We didn't have much information on Egypt, so we struggled. I advised to use blocking
    against Egypt's quick attack.
    KOREAN teamcaptain KIM Sung-Chae
    Q; What's your comment on today's match?
    A; "Since this is the first match, the players were out of sync. It was a tough game."
    KOREAN player KIM Se-Jin
    Q; How long have you been away from the international competition?
    A; "Since the '97 World League."
    Q; What was wrong with you?
    A; "Right knee injury."
    EGYPT Head Coach; Ibrahim FAKHRELDIN
    Q: What's your impression of Korea ?
    A: "Korea is a good team with good defense. They are experienced and their play at the net is
    Q: What is Hamdi Awad's condition ?
    A: "He is in bad condition and also overweight. He has not recovered from fatigue from
    qualification matches." 
    EGYPT team captain Maged MOSTAFA
    Q; What's your comment on today's match?
    A; "Our key players, Awad and Elnekery were not in top condition. Our team is relatively young
    and not very experienced."
    Q; Why were Awad and Elnekery not in good condition?
    A; "Since they are our core players, they were subjected to a lot of pressure."

Match #2 - Pool A (Preliminary Round)
ESP beat JPN 3-0 (15-11, 15-9, 15-13) - duration 1:48
13/11/98, start time: 18:30 - Attendance: 5,500
    FIVB Press Release
    Spain jolt Japan in successful world championship launch

    The Spanish men's Volleyball team gatecrashed Japan's party Friday night, celebrating their World Championship debut by defeating the host-nation in three-sets. The vast army of Japanese teenage girls who hoped to cheer their players to victory at Fukuoka's Marine Messe Stadium were disappointed as Spain won the preliminary stage Pool A match 15-11, 15-9, 15-13 in 1 hour 54 minutes. It was a Spanish victory fashioned in Italy through the tactical planning of Spain's Italian coach Vicenzo Di Pinto and the breathtaking finesse of star spiker Rafael Pascual, who plays in the Italian League. Pascual, one of the most exciting players in the game, was the focal point of Spain's success. Everything seemed to revolve around the brilliant 28-year-old, who was like a toreador as he lured the Japanese into vulnerable positions before delivering the coup de grace with a crunching spike or a feather-like tip. Juan Carlos Robles was almost equally effective for Spain, whose only major concern must be the number of wasted serves. Japan battled bravely, particularly in the third set when they saved six match points as they nudged agonisingly closer to Spain's score with some spectacular digs. Middle blocker Kentaro Asahi emerged with credit for Japan, who must be looking forward to an easier match against Egypt on Saturday, while Spain faces Korea.

    SPAIN Head Coach; Vicenzo Di PINTO
    Q; What's your comment on today's match?
    A; "It was a tough game. Japan put up a good fight." 
    Q; You rarely changed the players in today's match. Why ?
    A; "The players were all in sync, and I didn't want to lose our rhythm by changing members."
    Q; With this victory, you have almost secured a berth for the quarter-final round. What do you
    think about it?
    A; "With this victory, I'm sure we can get off to a good start. Tomorrow's match against KOREA
    will be a tough match , though."
    Q; In the 2nd set when SPAIN was down 7-9, your team scored 8 consecutive points without
    taking time-outs. How did you change the flow of the game?
    A; "With good services, blockings and defenses, we were able to turn the match around. Since
    this game was a home game for JAPAN, they must have been under a lot of pressure, but they
    gradually got back into their rhythm in the 3rd set."
    SPAIN Captain; Venancio COSTA
    Q; What's your comment on today's match?
    A; "Since this is our first participation in the World Championships, we are happy about our 3-0
    victory over Japan. We were able to get off to a good start."
    Q; In which set do you think Japan put up a good fight?
    A; "In the 3rd set. Japan rallied back and held out well."
    SPAIN Player; Rafael PASCUAL
    Q; What's your comment on today's game?
    A; "In such a major competition, the first set is the most difficult, and I was tense at first."
    JAPAN Head Coach; Futoshi TERAMAWARI
    Q; What were the reasons for your loss today? 
    A; "Our service reception was not good and we couldn't break up SPAIN's formation. Their
    defense and blockings far surpassed our expectations and we were unable to mount a
    successful offensive. NAKAGAICHI and other veteran players' poor performance was our major
    miscalculation on our part. Our setter couldn't work well as a game-maker."
    JAPAN Captain; Masaji OGINO
    Q; What's your comment on today's match?
    A; "Our spikes were cut off by the opponent's high and consistent blocks."

Match #3 - Pool B (Preliminary Round)
ITA beat CAN 3-0 (15-10, 15-13, 15-2) - duration 1:23
13/11/98, start time: 14:15 - Attendance: 3,500
    FIVB Press Release
    Italy to open quickly the men Championship over Canada

    Since 1949 and the first World championship in Prague, not a team had succeeded in in three titles in a row. That's the deal for Italy in that 14th edition played in Japan. But, first of all, Bebeto's players will have to get out easily of the preliminaries in order to maintain a good condition until the Final Round in Tokyo on the 29th of November. Canada had the privilege to play the opening match in the competition against the double defending World champion ('90 and '94). A Canada, quite a tall team, but not really collectively prepared : only one week, for most of Pischke's players take part in the current French League which has already started six weeks ago. So, to start that Pool B in Kobe was a little bit difficult : Gravina's blocks and Bracci's hits on the right wing hurt a lot, before Giani's jumped serves led Italia to an easy 13-7. Canada could only answer with left hander Ballard at the net and tall Grapentine's middle blocks. Two jumped captain Haldane's serves authorized a little hope (10-13), before two superb Gravina's blocks end that first set in the competition for Italy. Fortunately, the second set was much more exciting. Canada was very near to get it : even if its receiving had some problems, even if incredible experienced Italian captain (33 years old) Gardini's blocks led Italy to 9-1 and 13-7, Canada would not give up : with a setter Greves' back cross on Duerden (the most valuable Canadian hitter), three Grapentine's blocks in a row, and at least a Duerden's ace, permitted Canada to get a sensationnal equality, 13 all ! But, if Bebeto's players had lost some concentration, one must not forget they play in the best inational competition in the world. That means not to do mistakes in the money time : an ace and a final block killed the canadian will (15-13). Italian concentration recovered in the third set, short jumped Bracci's serves and short floating setter Meoni's serves made a definitive difference...

    Paulo DE FREITAS ("Bebeto", Italian coach)
    Q : That was the first match in the competition...
    A : "We performed quite well in general: we focused on 2 points in this
    match : 1 : block/defense : well; 2 : side-outing : it has to be improved. In
    the two first sets, we could not side out twice consecutively."
    Q : Italian team did better than expected in Women competition: did this
    give any good influence for the Men competition ?
    A : "Yes ! They did their best, as nobody expected them in that ranking. It
    really inspires us to do our best !"
    Andrea GARDINI (Italian captain)
    Q : This was the opening match in the World championship for the
    defending champion you are...
    A : "There was a good job in passing the balls and good combinations in
    defense. But, in the second set, Canada dug the balls very well and our
    attack was worse : we will get better later on."
    Garth PISCHKE (Canadian coach) :
    Q : The cause of that loss ?
    A : "A match against the defending champion made the team very
    nervous before. So, there was an inconsistency in our play, even when we
    had a chance to score. We missed it because of our poor
    Jason HALDANE (Canadian captain)
    Q : First match against the World champion...
    A : "It was a great opportunity for us to have Italy in an opening round.
    Players tried to see how they should play against a World champion and
    their level of performance. Our block was quite good, but, sometimes, we
    could not send balls properly to the setter. We are now looking forward to
    the match with the US..."

Match #4 - Pool B (Preliminary Round)
USA beat THA 3-0 (15-3, 15-9, 15-1) - duration 1:00
13/11/98, start time: 17:15 - Attendance: 500

    FIVB Press Release
    USA to take care

    Nobody could have understood the shadow of a problem for Doug Beal's players against newcomer in the World competition, Thailand. In fact, the score is clear for prior number 3 in last World championship played in Greece four years ago. But the details of that first preliminary match could create some questions in Doug Beal's mind... In the first set, captain setter Ball's serves were enough to run to 15. But in the second, US did not look so cool . Chinese Thai team Kun Xing's coach players added three meters with Tontongkum, left hander Aphisak, Phayoocharn realised a superb lonely block in front of Landry... and after an anxious 0-5, Thai team got back to 7 all ! Captain Khemdaeng's teammates suffered of course of a lack of height in middle blocking (15 centimeters of difference in average !), but not of a high jump on the wings ! And when Jit Jumroon realised a new winning block over Sorensen, one could say the US looked a little bit inattentive. Barnett's aces at 11-8 for the US made the difference, helped by Eatherton's and Hoff's heights (2,06m) at the block : that was enough to catch that second set, but not enough to get confidence before playing against Canada and Italy ! In the third set, Thai players tried to complicate the game, adding quick attacks, but, on his side, tall setter Ball (2,03m) worked his combinations for the two following days : back cross in the middle with Landry, three meters with Sorensen... It worked easily, because Thai, even if they understood all these combinations, could not simply answer because of a lack of height !

    Doug BEAL (US coach)
    Q : First match in the competition...
    A : "The team had done a good job. Most players lived their first
    experience in a World championship and we were lucky not not to have
    experienced opponent like Thai. Service and attack were not perfect, but
    we will improve match by match."
    Q : When did you start "three-person receiving system" ?
    A : "Two years ago. It works with or without libero. This system was
    necessary for our team. To receive a super powerful service with 2 players
    is quite difficult : sometimes, we need four ! 
    Kung Xing WU (Chinese Thai coach)
    Q : That was your first World championship match !
    A : "It was a good experience for the team : that was the first event for it !
    But our players are short and US too high, with efficient serves : we could
    not have a good pass. Anyway, this experience will benefit for the
    improvement of Thai volleyball."

    Match Results (Adobe Acrobat .pdf file)

    USA Volleyball Press Release

Match #5 - Pool C (Preliminary Round)
CHN beat UKR 3-1 (14-16, 15-13, 15-12, 15-8) - duration 2:24
13/11/98, start time: 14:00 - Attendance: 2,800
    FIVB Press Release
    Ukraine fails to surprise China

    Despite scoring the first point of this first preliminary round game of group C with an ace, Ukraine didn't manage to maintain their high pace throughout the whole match. After an impressively strong debut (leading 9-5 in the first set), the Ukrainians started to slowly lose the lead. Coach Leonid Likhno's boys had obviously prepared this match very well, by closely studying China's game. During the whole first set, they blocked effectively all of China's top scorer Xiang Zhang's (number 12) attempts. The opening set was a tough battle : it lasted 50 minutes and in the end, the strength of the Ukranians led them to a 16-14 victory. But China wanted to prove that they feel at home in sunny Sendai. With their shiny silver astronaut-like coats, they looked like they want to conquer, if not the moon, a qualifying place in group C. So after a shaky beginning, they calmly built their game to face all the power coming from the other side of the net. With great self-control, the teammates of captain Liming Zhang (number 7) waited for Ukraine's mistakes and then nailed the Eastern-Europeans to the floor right at the end of the set, despite their excellent defense. During the fourth and last set, China's number 3, Liang Zheng's excellent serving got his coach Jiawei Wang clapping. The Chinese got the whole Sendai Gymnasium doing the same thing a few minutes later, signing their first victory in a group where every little point will count.

    Oleksandr Sadchin (UKR) Captain
    Q : Your comments about today's game ?
    A : I am very sorry that we lost. We made stupid mistakes during the second set. Tomorrow we
    play the Netherlands, so we want to give the audience a good show by playing an exciting
    Leonid Likhno (UKR) Head Coach
    Q : What is your impression after this match ?
    A : Since this was the first match for us, the players were very nervous. In the first set, we did a
    very good job, but we couldn't keep up the good condition. We are therefore very disappointed
    and we definitely want to win the next game.
    Jianan Zhou (CHN) Player number 8
    Q : You didn't play during the first set. Did you observe the Ukranian team ?
    A : Yes ! I paid special attention to the formation of the block.
    Jiawei Wang (CHN) Head Coach
    Q : Your impressions ?
    A : We've only just finished the match, so we're still nervous ! Before the match, we thought it
    was going to be easier. It was actually very tough. I will use today's experience to prepare the
    following matches. 

Match #6 - Pool C (Preliminary Round)
NED beat CZE 3-1 (15-9, 13-15, 15-13, 15-4) - duration 2:09
13/11/98, start time: 18:00 - Attendance: 640
    FIVB Press Release
    Czech Republic bring the dutch doubts into the open

    One of the favourite teams in this quest for the World Crown is definitely The Netherlands. The Atlanta Olympic Champions have now been preparing these World Championships together for the past six months. But in the Sendai Gymnasium, after only a few points against a fresh and enthusiastic Czech Republic team, the Dutch side started to slowly separate. Frustrated by many mistakes, coach Toon Gerbrands' boys were no longer united to defend their country's colours. They still managed to gain the first set, in spite of setter Misha Latuhihin's (number 1) difficulties to give his attackers good balls. In the second leg, the Czech Republic side made a very strong impression, taking advantage of the dutch failures. Toon Gerbrands clearly admits it : We failed to take the initiative in this game, so we lost the second set to the Czech Republic. Luckily we came back in the third set, otherwise we may have lost the match. Impressive strikes from the captain Stanislav Pochop (Czech Republic, number 9) and great blocking lead coach Miroslav Nekola's boys to winning the second set. The third set was very close, with both teams going from 4-4 to 10-10 almost hand in hand. Then Holland seemed to get their act back together and stopped making mistakes. And in spite of Martin Hroch's (Czech Republic, number 1) fantastic game at the net, he was directly opposed to giant Bas Van De Goor (The Netherlands, number 9), the fourth set was unidirectional. This was a very tough match, sighs Bas Van De Goor on his way out of the court. We really have to be careful ! Lesson taken.

    Bas Van De Goor (NED) Captain
    Q : Your impressions on today's game ?
    A : It was very tough. We all started playing separately when things weren't going well. I knew
    we had to be careful.
    Misha Latuhihin (NED) Player
    Q : When did you become the first setter ?
    A : This year, but I have been in this team for almost two years now. 
    Q : What do you think is the main difference between you and former king of setters Peter
    Blange ?
    A : The difference is experience ! 
    Toon Gerbrands (NED) Head Coach
    Q : Impressions on today's win ?
    A : We were very lucky. We didn't play very well and therefore I don't think we deserve our
    number 1 seat. We definitely have to improve our blocking .
    Stanislav Pochop (CZE) Captain
    Q : What was the critical point in this match ?
    A : Definitely the end of the third set. We had a chance to win, but because of our poor defense,
    we lost the set to our opponent. 
    Miroslav Nekola (CZE) Head Coach
    Q : What do you think about this game ?
    A : It was a very good match. The result is the same as I expected. But I am totally satisfied with
    the way we played.

Match #7 - Pool D (Preliminary Round)
ARG beat IRI 3-0 (15-9, 15-3, 15-7) - duration 1:20
13/11/98, start time: 15:00 - Attendance: 3,217
    FIVB Press Release
    Argentine wins 3:0 after a slow start

    The favorites from Argentine won with the expected result of 3:0 their opening game of the first leg of the men's World Championship in Sapporo against Iran. In the first set the Iranian Team impressed with a very good start as they got the lead with 5:3. But then the favorites took over and gave a demonstration of their well-developped serving variety-with five aces in the first set. Juan Carlos Cuminetti (12) achieved two aces in a row from 10:6 to 12:6 what decided the first set. Concerning the slow start of his team Argentine -coach Daniel Castellani said:" First of all, Iran played well but we can play much better than this. My players were quite nervous because it was the first day of competition. We will do better tomorrow. I'm satisfied." In the second set the Iranians cracked and made their first point only when they were down with 0:13. " We need much more international competition on a high level like this", Iranian Captain Hossein Madani (13) said, " so fa rwe only played about 10 international games like this a year - that is much to few." In the third set the Iranian coach changed one position ( No.15 for No.1) what brought some new power in the attack (7:7). But on the whole the high jumping ability of the Iranian spikers was not sufficient enough to bring the Argentine team in real trouble.

    Iranian Coach Matsumoto - It was our first big game, so the players did
    not do their best. We still have a ways to go until we can get top ranking.
    Iranian Captain Madani - We have little experience, so we could not
    achieve the results we wanted. 
    Argentine Coach Castellani - Iran played a good game. We wish them
    luck. We were nervous at first but relaxed later. We expect to play better
    in the next games.
    Argentine Captian Weber - We could not play our own style at first, but
    in the second and third set we warmed up and played better. We want to
    carry that momentum into the coming games.
    Q.(Iranian Coach) Where did the difference in experience effect your
    A. We could not serve strong, like we usually do. A strong team must have
    strong serving. 
    Q.(Argentine Coach) What do you think about the future of the Iranian
    A. The Iranian team has Japanese coach and if they practice enough,
    they will be strong.
    Q.(Argentine Coach) Why did you have so many(21) missed serves?
    A. It was our first game and we felt nervous and pressured.
    Doctor Ruben Acosta, President of the FIVB, made a brief appearance at
    the press conference. 
    Q.(Dr. Acosta) Where is the next World Championship going to be held?
    A. Three venues in Italy, Portugal, and Argentina are being considered.
    We have to finish negotiations with the media, of which TV is the most
    important for this decision, but we hope to make a decision before the end
    of this competition.
    Q. (Dr. Acosta) Can you tell us your opinion about the new
    A. This new system will help the organizers, the media, the players, and
    the sport of volleyball a lot. Statistics from our trials showed that in men's
    games the shortest matches will last about one hour and ten minutes and
    the longest one hour and fifty-two minutes. So that reduces the difference
    between the longest and shortest games a lot. 

Match #8 - Pool D (Preliminary Round)
CUB beat POL 3-0 (15-10, 15-9, 15-11) - duration 1:39
13/11/98, start time: 18:00 - Attendance: 3,066
    FIVB Press Release
    Cuba wins 3:0 - after a long game

    The Cubans, one of the hottest favorites for the title of the Worldchampionship, overcome a strong but too unstable Poland in three straight sets with 15-10, 15-9 and 15-11. But the duration of the game - 99 minutes - is an indicator, that it was not an easy-going opening game for the Cuban team. Their opponents played on a high level - in the literal sense of the word - as their starting line-up averages an impressive 203 centimeters. The Polish team had their best moments at the beginning of the second set as it took over the lead for the first time (5:4). Also in the third set Poland recovered from a gap of 7-11 to close to 11:12. But in these few moments where the Cubans were really challenged, they could profit from their experience on a high level, whereas their opponents couldn't hide their lack of experience. Too many unforced errors hindered the Polish team to keep up the pace and hold the score over a longer period . " In difficult moments the Cubans could concentrate very well - we could not ", said Marek Bernat , the Polish assistant coach. And every so often the Cuban also relied on the double "Hernandez-wall" , with Osvaldo and Ihosvani (206 / captain). Cuban coach Marino Diaz was not yet satisfied with the rhythm of his team on the first competition day.

    Coach Ireneusz MAZUR(POL)
    It was difficult to play against the Cuban team as they played today. We
    lack experience, but we had some good moments and thought we might
    take a set, but we were not consistant. Cuba was like a teacher for us
    Captain Pawel ZAGUMNY(POL)
    We were too nervous, but if we can play more like we played in the first
    set, we will do better. I think it was good that we started against Cuba.
    Coach Juan DIAZ MARINO(CUB)
    In a high level competition like this, the first match is difficult. We had
    good and bad points today, but hope to show some better facets in games
    to come. Poland is a young and inexperienced team, but this experience
    will help them, and we cannot guarantee that we will win the next time
    we play them. 
    Q. You say you had good and bad points today. What are the bad points?
    A. Our bad points were our receiving, serving and blocking, but in the
    coming matches we hope to adjust our approach and reach our best
    Captain Ihosvany HERNANDEZ RIVERA(CUB)
    In the first match both teams were nervous, but in tomorrows match we
    want to get into our own rhythym early in the match.
    Q. Do you have any comments about your condition and play during
    today's game?
    A. I wasn't in my best form. I couldn't find my rythym in this first match,
    but I hope to improve that in the next matches.

Match #9 - Pool E (Preliminary Round)
BUL beat ALG 3-0 (15-6, 15-12, 15-13) - duration 1:34
13/11/98, start time: 15:30 - Attendance: 700 Bulgaria made a steady start.
    FIVB Press Release
    Bulgaria made a steady start.

    Bulgaria, FIVB world ranking 7, defeated Algeria and made a very good start of the world championships. The volleyball system of both teams are very simple, and these made the match rather monotonous. Bulgaria has just used left and right spikes, and B-quick spike. Algeria also used diagonal spikes from right and left. Very experienced pony tailed hair setter Nikolay Ivanov (Number 12) controlled his tosses very well for Bulgaria's power spikes. The mach was decided by the return of the service reception. In the first set , Bulgaria returned the service reception to the setter very well and gained the set by 15:6. In the second set, Algeria was keeping up the score with Bulgaria and once reversed the score as 12:9. However, Bulgaria was very experienced team so that they reversed the score again to win by 15:12. Even though young players of Algeria was a little bit nervous at the beginning, they showed their best effort in the second and third set to fight against strong team, Bulgaria. Algeria lost the set by 13:15, and lost the first game by 3:0, however, Algeria will probably improve their team skill game by game, just as the captain Fethi Berrairia (Number 2) said.

    Q: What's your impression on today's game?
    OUZOUNOV Petar (BUL) Captain
    A: We played quite well. And it led a victory to us. During the first set, we
    could be concentrated on the game very well. But for the second and the
    third, we had a hand time several times. So we permitted the opponent
    such 12 points.
    GAVRILOV Ivaylo (BUL) Player
    A: My impression is quite different from that of our captain. So we played
    quite well for the start, we felt pressure inside of our mind and we had a
    tough game today.
    VASSILEV Gueorgui (BUL) Head Coach
    A: My comment is short. There is nothing good but the fact we won today.
    I'm not satisfied with today's game at all. But anyway, the most important
    thing is fact we won today. I found Algerian Team is very good. They won
    the second participation in the Worldcup. Their technique was good.
    Today, we played for the 1st time, so we couldn't play well. But after
    today, I think we will be able to play much better.
    VASSILEV Gueorgui (BUL) Head Coach
    A: Thinking of the games after today, our championship start, I think,
    from tomorrow. Our opponent is not Algeria, but Brazil or Greece.
    Q: Why didn't Ganev Lubomir come to Japan this time?
    A: He wasn't playing quite well these recently.
    Q: Why don't you use Libero?
    A: I want to ask why other team want to use Libero. We can play well
    without Libero.
    GHARZOULI Faycel (ALG) Captain
    Q: What do you think about your first game?
    A: I think that we played good. Their skills are in advance, especially
    service. It was the first time for us to have much against BUL. We don't
    know very much each other. They have more experience in international
    Mohand Said KACI (ALG) Head coach
    Q: What do you think about your first game?
    A: At first set, we were nervous because we have many young players. But
    from the second set, we came to be much better and at the third set, there
    were some hope to win. Finally, we lost, but we did good.
    Q: When did you start training especially for this championship?
    A: We started training from this June according to the training program.

Match #10 - Pool E (Preliminary Round)
BRA beat GRE 3-0 (15-6, 15-13, 15-6) - duration 1:25
13/11/98, start time: 18:30 - Attendance: 1,000
    FIVB Press Release
    Brazil fascinated the spectators with their ultimate performance of the play

    Brazil showed their dynamic volleyball plays to win the first match in the preliminary round by 3:0. The beginning of the first set, even Brazil was a little bit nervous to start the match, Greece committed five service faults to allow Brazil for 5:2 lead. Brazil is very well trained for service reception, spikes and blocks. Their very fast and strong service directly hit the Greece court several times and enabled Brazil to get on pace of the game. Greece made quite a few faults of spikes, services to loose the set by themselves. The height of spike hit of Brazil is so high that their spikes went above the Greece block and penetrated Greece court. Brazil won the first set by 15:6. In the second set, Greece began succeeding counter attacks. Greece was trying to take back the points by using combination spikes, mixture of hard and soft spikes etc. to keep the score close to Brazil. However, very well trained digs and very high blocks of Brazil prevent Greece from achieving efforts. Brazil finished up the second set by 15:13. Brazil team captain Nalbert Bitencourt (Number 12) contributed on spike points and service point of Brazil in the third set to lead by 5:3. Gilbert Filho Godoy also made very sharp back attacks and Brazil won the third set by 15:6. Greece head coach Stellios Kazazis said, " Even though we got side out, it was very difficult for us to get points from Brazil. Services of Brazil team were very strong and great." Brazil demonstrated their high performance of hard spikes, strong services, high blocks and very well trained receiving formation as elite team ranked 5th in FIVB world ranking.

    BITENCOURT Nalbert (BRA) Captain
    Q* What was your impression on Today's game?
    A: At first, we were nervous. But we could play carefully, so we could win.
    Radames LATTARI FILHO (BRA) Head coarch
    Q: What was your impression on Today's game?
    A: At the third set, we could play very good. I was satisfied with the third
    Q: How was your team's combination?
    A: Previous characteristics of volleyball was combination. But now it
    concentrates on powerful service. After the service, the variation of
    attacks should be strengthened.
    Q: What is your goal at this championship?
    A: We would like to place as high as we could. Hopefully, we want to
    become champion.
    Q: What's the difference between the previous team and the present
    A: Previously we often did center attack. But now we attack from sides.
    We have many attack variation.
    GIOURDAS Marios (GRE) Captain
    Q: What do you think about today's game?
    A: We couldn't stand for the pressure. Hopefully we'll be better condition
    Stellios KAZAZIS (GRE) Head coach
    Q: What's your comment on today's match?
    A: That was the first match and we were nervous. We made many
    mistakes which we usually don't make and that could be the reason why
    we lost.
    Q: What do you think about your team and the chance in this
    A: Tomorrow will be a new day and everybody has a same chance. We
    will see how it will be.
    Q: You held the last championships in Greece. What was the merit
    brought to Greek Volleyball?
    A: It didn't increase the volleyball population nor popularity.

Match #11 - Pool F (Preliminary Round)
YUG beat AUS 3-0 (16-14, 15-5, 15-4) - duration 1:33
13/11/98, start time: 14:00 - Attendance: 4,900
    FIVB Press Release
    Australia brought Yugoslavia only one set into troubles

    Yugoslavia started the road to the World Crown with a relatively easy victory over Australia. The team from "Down Under" was almost responsible for a big surprise. The formation of head-coach Stelio de Rocco, former national team player in Canada, started the opening match in the new and beautiful Techno Sports Dome in Uozu City very well. With big attacks from Hidde van Beest (number 15), Australia was almost the whole set leading. At 14-12, the Australian players had the opportunity to finish the set in their favour. But the second team op Europe survived four setpoints and clinched the opening-set when the Yugoslavians had their first setpoint. At that moment the match was almost over. Yugoslavia stayed calm and played a relaxed game. Maybe their performance in the first set was too relaxed, so Australia had a chance at that time. The biggest problem for Yugoslavia was not the opponent, but the jet-leg. The team of head-coach Zoran Gajic only arrived two days ago in Japan after a trip of 26 hours. Their plan is to go through the preliminary round without to much damage, because this World Championship will be a long, heavy tournament. The top twelve teams in this tournament have to play twelve matches in only seventeen days. "And that is a hard job", team-manager Slobodan Milosevic said. Against Australia, Yugoslavia played their typical volleyball. The setter Nikola Grbic (number 9) and outside-hitter Vladimir Grbic (number 10), played not bad. The Yugoslavians made sometimes a lot of mistakes and they were too quiet and calm. But it will be sure that the team will perform better, when the tournament really starts in the quarterfinal-round. For Australia, this match was a big opportunity to play versus one of the top teams in the World. For these players the experience is the most important part in this tournament.

    TANASKOVIC, Zeljko (YUG) Captain
    Q: Please give us some comments about the match.
    A: We played good defense and our serving was good, and we were satisfied with the outcome.
    GAJIC, Zoran (YUG) Head Coach
    Q: Please give us some comments about the match.
    A: I'm very satisfied with the match, and the results were what we expected, but we have to
    play better and we need to be at our best in order to advance to the next round.
    Q: Where do you think the Australian team fell down in this match?
    A: We played very good defense, and we served well, and I think that made the difference.
    Q: What was your game plan going into this match?
    A: We didn't have any specific game plan going into the match, because we didn't know how
    the Australians played. We just went into the game. In the first set we made some mistakes, but
    in the 2nd set we understood where we were and found our rhythm.
    BEARD, David (AUS) Captain
    Q: Please give us your impressions of the match.
    A: We came out fighting in the first set, and we showed that we could play with teams like
    Yugoslavia, but it was very disappointing for us in the 2nd and 3rd sets. We want to keep on
    fighting in the next match.
    DeROCCO, Stelio (AUS) Head Coach
    Q: Please give us some comments about the match.
    A: We came out well in the first set, and we had Yugoslavia at 14-12, but we gave them every
    opportunity to score and they took advantage of them. We had a few chances ourselves, but we
    weren't able to capitalize on them, and we made some mistakes. In the 2nd and the 3rd sets, the
    biggist difficulty was our own discipline and aggressiveness, and we couldn't put the ball on the
    ground. We made a few bad decisions, and in the next game we have to solve this
    decision-making problem.

Match #12 - Pool F (Preliminary Round)
RUS beat TUR 3-0 (15-6, 15-7, 15-6) - duration 1:18
13/11/98, start time: 16:30 - Attendance: 3,000
    FIVB Press Release
    Easy start for Russian power-players

    Russia beat Turkey very easy in the second match of the day in Uozu City. The Russian players had simply too much power. Therefor Turkey had no chance to bring the number two of this am." For Turkey the big defeat is not so good. The team has to play against Yugoslavia tomorrow, and if the formation played like today Turkey have no chance. And winning a set versus Yugoslavia or Russia can be very important, because only the four best ranked team of the six groups in preliminary round. Winning at least one set is likely necessary. For Russia, a victory over Australia will be enough to reach the quarterfinal-round in Chiba-Makuhari.

    KHAMOUTTSKIKH, Vadim (RUS) Captain
    Q: Please give us some comments about match.
    A: The first match is always the most difficult, but we did our best and we were able to win 3-0,
    so we were happy. It was the kind of result we expected, and I think a 3-0 win says something
    about the strength of our team, but we need to work harder in order to continue on in this
    BENGU, Mustafa Kenan (TUR) Captain
    Q: Please give us some comments about match.
    A: This was a difficult match for us, and we'd like to play better. This was the first match, and I
    don't think we were playing our real volleyball. Tomorrow I hope we can play up to speed.
    CHIPOULINE, Guennadi (RUS) Head Coach
    Q: Please give us some comments about match.
    A: For the Russian team, we can't say we were in top condition. It was the 1st game and we just
    arrived, and we haven't adjusted to the time change, the weather, and the food here, so it was
    a very hard match for us. I want to thank the team from Turkey for playing a tough match and
    being a good opponent. They were a strong team.
    Q: What were the key factors in your victory?
    A: Today was the first day of the tournament, so we practiced hard and tried to study our
    opponent and their strategy to get ready for today's match. We were very surprised by Turkey's
    starting lineup, and we were trying to figure out their strategy during the game. We were also
    surprised by the strength of the Turkey Team, but our players worked hard and we got a victory.
    Q: You didn't use one of your star players, Stanislav Dineikine (#1) until the third set. What was
    your reason for this?
    A: He wasn't tired or anything, and I think he's in top condition for the tournament. But this is a
    long tournament, and we might have to play 12 games in 17 days, so I want to try to get as
    many people into the games as possible, give them some experience, and try to give our star
    players some rest. I think the key to winning this tournament is to have all of our players in top
    condition, and have them ready to play at any moment.
    HERRERA, Delgado (TUR) Head Coach
    Q: Please give us some comments about match.
    A: This was our 1st match in the world championships, and our first time here, so it was a tough
    match for us. The Russian team is a very strong team, and they played very well in this match. I
    think our players played well against this strong team, but we couldn't come up with a win.

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