Leon, Mexico, June 18, 2017 - Even though Estonia reached new heights with the first place at FIVB World League Group 3, coach Gheorghe Cretu emphasized this was not a sole moment for them, it was a consequence of the help of a lot of people throughout recent years, helping Estonia to this proud and fruitful present.
Gheorghe Cretu, Estonia coach: “The path of this group started many years ago, with the generation of our captain (Kert Toobal). Many other guys laid the foundation of this new history of volleyball in Estonia. We’re proud to continue their work, as it was their will to be in this World League, face these great opponents and to keep growing. This is the work of a lot of people in Estonia and I’m sure many of them didn’t sleep tonight. I took this team together with my staff three years ago, we’re going step by step and I have to say it’s a present for all of us to be part of this Estonian family. We never feel alone. I want to tell them this result is for all of them.”
Kert Toobal, Estonia captain: “Our teamwork was the key. We played a clever game, using our heads and keeping the ball in play. We know our strength is the block and if we keep our serves inside, we can have a lot of positive actions there. We didn’t have to worry about our side-out as it usually works, so we did that and I couldn’t be happier now. In the third set we showed that strength in our heads - we knew that losing a few points didn’t mean that much. We stayed calm and ended up playing a nice game. This is a big day for Estonia volleyball.”
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Andrés Villena, Spain player: “Estonia was relentless with their side-out and they blocked a lot; we couldn’t adjust our attacks until the final part of the match. The height of our spikes made things easier for them and when we reacted, it was already late. Although we’re a bit angry now for the result, this final position for Spain is very good, we have played an amazing game against Germany and we’re happy with the things we did. We would have wanted to fight more in the final, but well, next time we’ll do it.”
Fernando Muñoz, Spain coach: “There was a clear moment that decided the game in my opinion - we were leading 20-16 on the first set, playing very well and with the match under control, but we let it go. We gave them the chance to re-enter the game, close the set and afterwards everything changed. They played very well, we didn’t and that’s it. When you lose the last match you end up frustrated, but I know what we have done here is worthy and this team have worked a lot to get here.”