International Women's Volleyball Comes to Canberra

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Volleyball Australia is pleased to announce that it will throw the doors open at the Finals of the World Women’s Grand Prix offering all spectators the opportunity to see world class women’s volleyball for the first time since 2000 Olympics at a door entry price of just $5.

Two major sponsors have come on board to support the hosting of world women’s volleyball, comparable to the World League of Men’s Volleyball which completed this weekend in Melbourne.

BendonLingerie.com and Hancock Prospecting have both underwritten the hosting of the event to ensure equality of opportunity for our women’s Volleyroos and to continue the commitment of Volleyball Australia to gender equality in all aspects of the delivery of volleyball in Australia. 

“As the world’s largest gender equal team sport, its imperative we build the profile and opportunities for our Women Volleyroos.  For too long a lack of government funding has dictated a lack of focus but last year Volleyball Australia committed to delivering to our women’s team a rebuilding program towards Tokyo 2020.  The World Women’s Grand Prix is the ideal event for our Volleyroos who have competed in Kazakhstan and Algeria in the preliminary rounds ahead of the Group 3 Finals this weekend at the AIS Arena in Canberra.”

The World Women’s Grand Prix will be the first world women’s volleyball event hosted in Australia since Sydney 2000 and Volleyball Australia implores volleyball and women’s sport supporters to attend the event and support in numbers the Volleyroos as they take on Columia,, Peru and Kenya in the finals this weekend in an event televised globally.

Matches start at 4pm Saturday, with Columbia playing Peru, and the the Volleyroos will take on Kenya at 7pm.  Sunday's finals are set for 1pm and 4pm.

Get your tickets online at http://eventopia.co/WGP2015

 

Australia pulls of stunning last-gasp win to avoid relegation

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AUSTRALIA AVOID RELEGATION WITH THRILLING FIVE-SET WIN

The Australian men's volleyball team has avoided relegation from the prestigious Group One of World League with a thrilling five-set win against world number eight, Serbia, in Melbourne.

The Australians went into the match knowing anything short of a win would see them drop back to Group Two of World League next year.

Heat takes its toll on Volleyroos in Algeria

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AUSTRALIA FIGHTS HARD IN HEAT OF ALGERIA

Australian women’s volleyball coach, Mark Barnard, believes fatigue and extreme heat has contributed to his team’s 3-0 loss to Kenya in the women’s Grand Prix in Algeria this morning.

The Australians had to back up after a tough five-set loss to Algeria which finished after midnight, and after a close first set faded to lose in straight sets 25-20, 25-16, 25-15.

 

Barnard and everyone associated with the fledgling International team had been impressed with the side’s progress during their first two Grand Prix games.

Sure, they lost to Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic in straight sets, but the Volleyroos showed plenty of the underdog spirit Barnard spoke so openly about in the event lead-up.

On Sunday, it was gone.

“We just did not play very well for probably 70 per cent of the match,” Barnard said.

“There were spurts there, but we were physically outmatched. We made way too many errors. The experience of being resilient, of going through that a lot of times and learning how to get out of it, we haven’t learned that.”

Barnard took the decision to give the players the morning off from training ahead of the Croatia game because he was worried about burn out.

He’s now not sure that was the right call.

“Maybe we should have pushed through it,” he said.

“But in the back of my mind I know they don’t play and train all the time, so it’s very easy to train them into the ground. Part of the intention today was to have them rest. I’m just not sure what the correlation between not doing anything this morning and the result this afternoon.”

The reality is this is a steep learning curve for the Volleyroos, and anyone who follows the sport in Australia knows this is the first step down a long and winding road.

Volleyball Australia President Craig Carracher knows.

“Let’s remember this is off the back of a decade of limited support,” he said after Sunday’s loss.

“This is the start of a rebuilding process, a process to create opportunity for a generation of players and coaches and administrators and officials.

“There are 200 countries playing women’s volleyball, and this was always going to be a long road. But we can’t not start the journey just because we know it’s a long and difficult one.”

Australia has the nucleus of a very good volleyball team, and with several players about to head to overseas leagues, and with several more hoping to follow, there is going to be more consistent exposure to the best.

But there are also a handful of players contemplating retirement. Some are listening to the protests of their own bodies, others are finding it difficult to balance full-time jobs with the commitment needed to play at the top level.

Which will leave enormous holes to fill. All the more reason Australia needs this Grand Prix experience to work.

Judging by the reaction of younger squad members like Nikki Cunningham and Jess Ryder, it’s a good news story so far.

“It’s a whole new level,” Ryder, who made her senior International debut against Kazakhstan on Friday, said.

“I can’t wait for the future years, when I can get on the court more, maybe even start on court.”

The immediate challenge for Australia, now they’ve taken one step back, is to move forward again next weekend in Croatia in week two of the Grand Prix.

 

WOMEN

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