We came here to make history and we made it. It was a tough battle - Karch Kiraly
Milan, Italy, October 12, 2014 – The United States of America are the new world champions! In front of 12,600 thrilled fans in Milan’s Mediolanum Forum, USA overpowered China 3-1 (27-25, 25-20, 16-25, 26-24) to claim their first FIVB World Championship title ever. It is a historic night for American volleyball, for this is their first ever title in a major FIVB competition. Read what coaches and players said after the match.
USA coach Karch Kiraly: We came here to make history and we made it. It was a tough battle. I would like to congratulate Lang Ping and her team. They played a marvelous tournament. After we got a 2-0 lead we knew China would never give up. It was a battle to the end and they have some great young players, as do we. I hope that we will be playing against each other in the future. It is just good for the sport to have teams with such history performing at a high level.
It is not about my CV, it is about this team and this program. They are a wonderful group of people that I get to work with every day. I think one of the things is that we got contributions from every single player. It was not just our starting six. That helped us be rested and have more energy at the finish when we got to use players like Tori Dixon and Rachel Adams, the other middles and Kelsey Robinson and Kristin Hildebrand the other outsides. Our other libero Nicole Davis, I am sure I am forgetting people but we got to use lots and lots of people. Every set Courtney Thompson and Nicole Fawcett came in and gave a little rest to our setter and opposite combination Alisha Glass and Kelly Murphy. All of that combined helped give us enough energy to finish strong at the end.
Kimberley Hill has improved tremendously. She is a world-class player in so many of her skills and she's only been with this team two years, two seasons. Last summer and this summer. She can still get much better so we are excited about her future and her future with USA. This is a good start.
It feels really good, it's awesome. I am so proud of these people I work with in this program every day. The 50 athletes who wore a USA uniform this year at some point and all the contributions they made and make on a daily basis. All of our staff, I have an amazing staff and we put it all together. Everybody did an amazing job so we are blessed to have such a quality group of people to work with.
USA captain Christa Dietzen: It is the first time for the USA and we made it. We represented present and future volleyball programs, but most importantly, we did it together.
USA's Kimberly Hill, MVP of the tournament: I feel ecstatic and happy and just cannot believe it is real. The award was a surprise and I still cannot believe it either, it is just amazing. Tonight it is everything. Eating, drinking and we are just going to celebrate being together.
China coach Lang Ping: I am very happy. The Championship is finished. I think our team played well today, but we would like to congratulate USA. They had fantastic work and a great team. It was a good experience for us and hopefully next year we can have good training to help our young players.
I think it is a hard job to coach at this level. Normally women have more responsibility for the family, but it is hard. In the USA, there are many women coaches at college level. We will have more, I think, I hope.