LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) - Algeria’s women’s volleyball coach George Strumilo did not mince his words after his side lost 3-0 to Japan as Olympics volleyball action got under way at Earls Court on Saturday.
“It was a bit of a disaster, especially in the last set,” the Pole told Reuters after a 25-15 25-14 25-7 loss in a one-sided Pool A match played out in front of a less-than-full venue despite signs saying the session was sold out.
“They were too good for us, especially in the last set,” he added. “It’s very difficult for us to compete here against these kinds of teams with such an inexperienced squad.
“In the last set there was a sense of resignation in our players. All we can do now is say ‘today wasn’t important’ and motivate the players to play better.”
Algeria’s young squad, ranked 16th in the world, looked relieved as they walked off court still searching for their first victory in major championships, having lost every match they have played in the world championships and Olympics.
Monday’s match against hosts Britain, who are making their debut at this level, is already looking like a playoff to avoid finishing last.
Algerian blocker Lydia Oulmou said of Monday’s clash with the hosts: “We are technically stronger than Britain but we don’t know the team very well. We are going to try to win.”
Reigning Olympic women’s champions Brazil begin their group matches later against Turkey. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)