AUS Men 2010 World Championships - Match Report 1 v Puerto Rico 25-9-10
World Championships - Italy, September/October 2010
Match 1 - 25th September 2010
AUS lost to PUR 1:3
MATCH – REPORTThe first match against Puerto Rico was a close encounter, with Australia having chances in all four sets. The first three sets were very close. Australia made a few too many errors at crucial times and had difficulty developing an effective kill percentage, but the Team was able to grind out a close victory in the third set. A sluggish start to the fourth set was both surprising and diabolical in terms of the Team taking the match into a fifth set.
In the early stages of the first set Australia could not kill the ball on attack, but Puerto Rico struggled with serving (seven errors), allowing Australia to keep pace. Puerto Rico led 8-7, but the Australians fought back with a transition kill through Yudin, as well as blocks to Yudin and Young to lead 16-15. An overpass kill off serve and two transition points allowed Puerto Rico to regain the lead. Passier achieved a block late in the set, but the Puerto Ricans forced an error and then blocked the Australians on set point.
No more than two points separated the two teams until late in the second set. Despite some solid defence by Puerto Rico to deny Australia a number of kills on attack, the young Australian middles chalked up five blocks (four to Zingel) to trail by just one point at 20-21. Australia gave up an ace and an overpass, as well as being blocked. The Team eventually sided out, but Puerto Rico only needed to do the same to take the set.
Australia had to build slowly in the third set, as Puerto Rico gave nothing away. The Australians led 8-7, but two transition kills through Carroll and some Puerto Rican errors led to a 16-12 lead for Australia. It was late in the set before Puerto Rico fought back through some excellent defence both at the net and in the backcourt. Australia hung on and eventually an error gave them a well deserved set.
Australia started quite poorly in the fourth set, with attack mistakes and Puerto Rican blocks giving them an 8-3 lead. A transition play extended the margin to six points. The Australians started pegging back the lead and at 14-17 looked like they had a chance to get back into the set. Despite some reasonable side out attack Australian service errors on four occasions made any chance of a fight back impossible. Puerto Rico took the set and the match.
Next match for Australia is against Russia.