SANTILLI URGES VOLLEYROOS TO FINISH ON A HIGH
Australian volleyball coach Roberto Santilli has urged his team to focus on their final three games at the 2015 World Cup, after losing in straight sets to Poland in Toyama, Japan.
The Australians have won just the one game so far in Japan, but will head to Tokyo this weekend for three winnable games against Iran, Tunisia and Venezuela.
The Volleyroos were outplayed by Poland, one of only two teams still undefeated at the World Cup, losing 25-15, 25-22, 25-17.
“Today we just watched a senior team against a junior team,” Santilli said.
“Of course, they had a big defence, especially on serve and reception. We tried to let some guys play who normally don’t play a lot. We did what we could.
“Of course, we cannot be satisfied but we have to look at our target which is the next three games. We just have to turn the page and focus on the next three games.”
There were some positive signs for the Volleyroos, most notably the performances of Libero Luke Perry and middle blocker, Nehemiah Mote, two of the youngest members of the Australian team.
Captain Thomas Edgar led the scoring with 17 points, and also urged his team to finish the World Cup strongly.
“Our focus has to switch now to three very important games in Tokyo to round out this tournament,” he said.
“We need to play well not only against Iran, but also against the other two opponents, so I hope we can finish the tournament on a high and keep improving for the future.”
The top two teams at the World Cup will automatically qualify for Rio next year, with the undefeated Poland and USA currently in the box seat.
The Volleyroos will return to Japan next year for a final qualifying event.