Quotes from U.S. Men's Olympic Volleyball Match - Aug. 22, 2008

Aug. 22, 2008, 11:32 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

Bill Kauffman
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bill.kauffman@usav.org

Quotes from the Aug. 22 Olympic men's volleyball match between the United States and Russia.

Hugh McCutcheon
"We knew it was going to be a tough match. I am proud of the way the guys were able to deal with the pressure and consistency of Russia at the end of the match. For these guys, it is a chance to get on the podium."

On the status of the USA Volleyball team among American sports fans:
"I think this team represents what's good about team sports. The sum of their hearts is greater than the individual aspects of the team. If these guys wanted to do individual sports, they'd play tennis. But they want to be part of something bigger than themselves and volleyball is the mechanism they have chosen to do that. This team is doing it the right way.

"This bunch of guys play selflessly with no personal agenda. There's a lot of unity and strength in the group. I don't know if that's of any interest to America but that's what they're missing."

On four-time Olympian Lloy BALL's (USA) return to the team for the competition before retiring:
"I think it's very meaningful for Lloy. It was a risk initially, for him and for us, to return. But along with the risk there was a lot of good discussion and trust. The trust has paid significant dividends for us."

On his understated reaction to the victory:
"I'm a fairly reserved guy, I don't wear my heart on my sleeve. I don't mean anything by it, I'm happy for the win. I wanted to shake the hand of the Russian coach after a great match, he's a great coach. But I'm not going to run around like a headless chicken, it's just not me."

Tom Hoff
"It was an awesome team performance. What sticks with me is our last break, we had some confusion and some guys were amped up. Hugh came over to us right at the end of it and told us what we were going to do on the very next serve. It had a really calming effect. It was the correct choice. Believing in each other and believing in what the staff information has given us is something that has got us here. It has served us in the most crucial time in the match. It was an absolutely beautiful performance."

"I don't think we are playing our best volleyball, but we have a great commitment to believing in each other and playing as a team."

On whether the team is looking to live up to the legacy of the last USA Men's Volleyball team to win Gold in the 1988 Seoul Olympics:
"I don't want myself or any of the group to shoulder any more pressure or concentrate on anything else other than just playing games. I don't want to have to think about slipping into those shoes, they are enormous shoes to fill."

David Lee
On trying to stop Russia’s Maxim Makhaylov
“Lloy’s looking at me the whole time like, ‘Dude, do something.’… I got him at the end. I got the last ball.”

Lloy Ball
On finally earning an Olympic medal on his fourth try

“I have my wife here, my son, my mom and dad, my best friend; to see these faces supporting and cheering me on in one of the last major moments of my career is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. We’ve been waiting 20 years to get to the podium. It’s going to feel good to play in two days with actually no pressure.”

On his reaction to falling behind

“Somewhere about the fourth set, I realized that four years ago I would have started screaming and swearing. Maybe because I’m older, or maybe because I don’t have the energy any more, I don’t do that. I try to lead by example and get guys to relax.”