Match Reports / Results
The young Australian women’s volleyball team has shown once again its fighting qualities with a tough five-set win over India at the Asian Championships in China.
The Volleyroos had to fight back from two sets to one down to beat India 25-18, 16-26, 22-25, 25-17, 15-13.
The win means Australia finishes ninth with a five win two loss record, including victories in their final four matches.
The Volleyroos receive no government funding, relying on the generous support of Patron and sponsor, Gina Rinehart, to help them compete at the top level.
What the history books won’t show is that for much of the Asian Championships illness and injury made it almost impossible for coach Mark Barnard to put together a starting line-up.
Ninth is the same result as two years ago, but with a very different looking team.
24-year-old Beth Carey, who played her first Asian Championships in 2009 and was a member of the team in 2013, believes the current team could develop into something special.
“What’s great about having a young and slightly inexperienced team is we can shape it for the future,” she said.
“Having a fearless mindset is very beneficial, we’ll keep working on that, and in the future we could be unstoppable and fearless.”
“Coming into the first scratch match it felt like a unit, and we’ve grown from there. Growing so quickly I think we’ll become really tight knit. And once our skill level grows we could become unstoppable.”
Australia started strongly against India, comfortably taking the opening set.
But then a big change came over the game, with the Volleyroos making numerous errors.
After losing the second set, Australia lost nine points straight in the third set to trail 14-4, and then 20-13 before fighting back to lose the set 23-25.
“We started really strong, I thought we might beat them in three,” Carey said.
“But then I think we got a little bit too comfortable. We should have taken our time, slowed things down.
“I was watching from the sidelines, it looked very tense but very flat. There wasn’t the Australian spirit, getting excited for a point or getting aggressive to win a point back.
“But even when we were down 14-4 I still had a thought we could come back from that and win the set.”
Carey said the Australians never believe they are out of a match.
“I’ve been in plenty of teams where when it gets to 20 points, they give up. I love this team, you might be down 14-20 and we keep fighting,” she said.
“We’ve been seen as Australian underdogs for a very long time. What I love about this team is we don’t care where we are in the rankings, we just go out fearless and play our game with the Australian spirit.”
The Australians will now prepare for the World Grand Prix, with Australia set to host their division final in Canberra in July.
Volleyball Australia is pleased to welcome coaches and managers from the Fiji and Vanuatu Volleyball Federation’s to Australia. The coaches and managers will stay in Melbourne and Adelaide for three weeks as the beneficiaries of the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia Awards Fellowship program. These fellowships offer Volleyball Australia the opportunity to strengthen partnerships and links with their Pacific counterparts as well as increase the capacity of national volleyball federations in Fiji and Vanuatu to deliver their respective Pacific Volleyball Partnership activities.
The four community coaches based in Adelaide will complete a Level 1 Coaching Certificate, an inclusive sport workshop, basic project management training and practical event management experience. Similarly, two Pacific Volleyball Partnership program managers will participate in partnership brokering, project management, monitoring and evaluation and corporate sponsorship training in Melbourne.
All guests are thoroughly enjoying their time in Australia and making the most of the experience.
VA would like to especially acknowledge Volleyball SA and the Fiji Association of South Australia for their assistance in hosting the community coaching participants in Adelaide.
The Italian men’s volleyball team, once the world powerhouse of the sport, has arrived in Adelaide this week determined to begin the climb back to the top of the International rankings.
But the team has arrived without at least three of its best players, including the brilliant Ivan Zaytsev.