Russia's Liubov "Sokolova" Shashkova receives against Brazil
Beijing, China, August 11, 2008 - Russian Women’s Head Coach Giovanni Caprara has admitted he faces a tough task to motivate his players after the Athens Games silver medallists lost their second straight game in the Olympic Volleyball preliminaries on Monday.
The Italian watched Brazil give Russia “a Volleyball lesson” in the first match of the day as the South Americans won 25-14, 25-14, 25-16, following his team’s 3-1 opening-day loss to Italy. Caprara refused to blame the early start time and said the European powerhouses have to change their mindset if they are to progress in the tournament.
Russia plays Kazakhstan on Wednesday in their third Pool B match.
"The start time is not only early for us but for Italy too, but there is a different mentality with Russian teams regarding early matches as they tend to have an issue with fatigue,” said Caprara. “I have to persuade them and work hard to overcome this mentality and be prepared for tough matches, but it seems that I fought here alone.
"It's an issue of attitude," said Caprara of the 2006 FIVB World Championship winners.
"Our team and the Brazilian team had very different experience. They played a lot of high level international matches in the FIVB World Cup last year and FIVB World Grand Prix this year, while we did not qualify for either tournament.
"Brazil gave us a lesson of Volleyball today. They played with double speed compared to Russia, they concentrated on their play, and technically they were much better than Russia," said Caprara.
Russia captain and setter Marina Sheshenina said she saw improvement in her side’s performance from the match against Italy.
"It's a pity to lose again, but I think we played better than we did in the last match," said Sheshenina. "I just want to say that Brazil is a very strong team and we had better concentration than the last match," she added.
Brazil’s Sheilla Castro was baffled by the ease of Brazil’s victory.
"I think they didn't want to play,” said Castro. “It seems they have a problem inside, but I don't know."