National Teams
Aussies learn lessons from U16 Asian Champs campaign

Aussies learn lessons from U16 Asian Champs campaign

Australia have returned home from the Asian Volleyball Confederation Men’s U16 Volleyball Championships finishing eighth out of 12 teams in Uzbekistan.

Like the women’s tournament earlier in the month, it is the first time the Asian Confederation has staged an Under 16 Volleyball Championship.

In their first pool match, Thailand defeated Australia 3:1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-18, 25-15) in a 91 minutes match where the momentum swung away in the closing sets.

Next up was Pakistan – who would eventually sit in the top four – who beat the Aussies 3:0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-14).

This set up a must-win match with Chinese Taipei to potentially determine which nation would join Pakistan in the final four. The eventual tournament bronze medallists were too strong in their 3:0 win, leaving Australia in a playoff for fifth to eighth positions.

Their first bracket match was against Kazakhstan in a match which could have gone either way. The Kazakhs won the first set 25-20, and the Aussies were unlucky to go down 26-24 in the third.

They didn’t drop their heads, however, and won a marathon 58-point third set but couldn’t force a decider, Kazakhstan taking the fourth set 25-17 and the match 3-1.

The result set up a playoff for seventh against their opening match opponents, Thailand.

Thailand won the opening set 25-21 however Australia outscored their opponents 25-22 in the second to even up the match.

Both teams pushed each other all the way in the next two sets with Thailand edging Australia in both 26-24 and 25-23 to engineer a 3-1 victory.

“Finishing eighth out of the 12 competing nations, the team navigated through a range of challenges to finish on a high, savings its best performance for last against Thailand,” said head coach Adrien Ickowicz.

“The boys did themselves and their country proud, and we congratulate them, and their coaching staff, for all their hard work over the two-week tour.”

1st Asian Men’s U16 Volleyball Championship
Tashkent UZB
22-29 July 2023

Australian Results
Preliminary Round: Thailand d Australia 3:1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-18, 25-15)
Pool F: Pakistan d Australia 3:0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-14)
Pool F: Chinese Taipei d Australia 3:0 (25-1, 25-11, 25-17)
5th-8th Semi-Final: Kazakhstan d Australia 3:1 (25-20, 26-24, 28-30, 25-17)
7th-8th Playoff: Thailand d Australia 3:1 (25-21, 22-25, 26-24, 25-23)

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