VOLLEYBALL NATIONS LEAGUE – ROUND 3 UPDATES
Game 4 – Australia def by France | 0:3 (16-25, 12-25, 26-18)
After 12 games over four weeks, the Australian Men’s Volleyroos wrapped up their 2022 Volleyball Nation’s League (VNL) campaign in Osaka, Japan on Sunday.
In their final game of the three-round tournament, the Aussies came up against the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champions France.
The Volleyroos put up a tough fight and never backed down, but the French team proved too strong and took the win in straight sets (25-16, 25-12, 28-26).
Volleyroos setter Nicholas Butler said he knew it was going to be a tough game, but was proud of his teammates for never giving up.
“It’s always going to be a challenge facing the defending Olympic champions, but credit to the young boys who played today for showing a lot of fight when put under pressure like that,” Butler said.
“Next time we face them, hopefully it’ll be a different story.”
Libero Jackson Holland said it was “an honor” to play against the Olympic Champions.
“I felt we struggled on the sideout and reception early in the match,” Holland said.
“When our service pressure was good we were able to set up our block defence a lot better but we didn’t capatilise on our opportunities.
“It was a tough fight from our guys in the last set but unfortunately we came up short. Still, to play against the Olympic champs was an honour,” he said.
The game against France drew Australia’s 2020 VNL campaign to a close. The Volleyroos have proudly represented the green and gold against the world’s top teams over the past four weeks.
GAME 3 – Australia def by Argentina | 1:3 (25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 15-25)
Australia faced Argentina in the third game of the Osaka Round of the 2022 VNL.
The Volleyroos came out firing, to win the first set against Argentina, before their South American opponents bounced back.
The Aussies fought all the way to the end, but the Volleyroos just fell short 1:3 (25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 15-25).
Outside Hitter Murch Malachi was a standout for the Aussies, scoring 15 attack points and 3 block points to be the second highest scorer overall for the match on 16, just behind Argentina’s Bruno Lima on 19 points.
The Aussies have one more VNL match remaining and will face France at 4.40pm AEST on Sunday 10 July.
GAME 2 – Australia def by Germany | 1:3 (25-20, 16-25, 21-25, 24-26)
The Australian Men’s Volleyroos opened their clash against Germany with an epic 25-20 win in the first set of their VNL match-up in Osaka, Japan.
However their German opponents fought back in the second and third sets.
The fourth set was point for point, with the Aussies edging in front in the middle of the set, but they couldn’t quite hold on, with Germany taking the VNL Round 3 battle 3:1 (20-25, 25-16, 25-21, 26-24).
Once again, Outside Hitter Lorenzo Pope was the top scorer for the Aussies, with fifteen attack points, and one block point.
Middle Blocker Trent O’Dea also had a very strong game, notching six attack points, three blocks and an ace; as did Opposite Spiker Matt Aubrey, with eight attack points and an ace.
“We always have tough, close matches with Germany,” Aubrey said after the game.
“I think today we were in control of the match for the majority of it, however when it came to the back end of sets, we weren’t able to capitalise on the opportunities we created.
“We are going to learn from this though and come our firing against Argentina tomorrow.”
The Volleyroos will next play Argentina at 1.40pm AEST on Friday 8 July.
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GAME 1 – Australia def by Japan | 1:3 (18-25, 15-25, 25-23, 19-25)
The Australian Men’s Volleyroos put up a gallant fight against Japan in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) overnight, in Osaka, Japan.
In their first game of Round 3, Japan took the opening two sets, before the Volleyroos fought back to claim the third 25-23.
With the packed crowd on their side, the host nation proved too strong in the fourth, claiming the win 3:1 (25-18, 25-15, 23-25, 25-19).
Outside Hitter Lorenzo Pope was integral for the Volleyroos, scoring 21 attack points and one block point for a total score of 22, just behind Japan’s Yuji Hishida as the game’s top scorer with 24 points.
Volleyroos Coach Dave Preston said the game had a number of highlights and also showed areas the team will look to develop.
“I thought we were good in some areas and showed where we need continued attention in others,” he said
“We were pretty good in high ball and knew we would have to be based on the serving pressure they can create. We created some opportunities with our block defence but didn’t capitalize on them often enough.”
Making his senior international debut for Australia, Jackson Holland said it was a special game to be a part of.
“It was an amazing atmosphere to play in last night, full credit to Japan,” Holland said.
“They served quite well all game, and for our side, I think we just didn’t create enough opportunities with block and defence. This was the big difference in the main result.”
The Volleyroos will be back in action this afternoon against Germany at 4pm AEST