National Teams
Volleyroos advance to final four

Volleyroos advance to final four

Courtesy AVC

Australia punched in their semis slot after a thrilling 3-1 win (26-24, 25-23, 25-27, 31-29) against Iran in the Preliminary Round of the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup on Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Avenging defeat in their last encounter during the 2023 AVC Challenge Cup in Surabaya, Australia outplayed Iran in the Pool A of the Manila edition, dominating the match with 69 attacks, 12 blocks and 11 service aces.

Caitlin Tipping probably played the match of her life, with a whopping 34-point haul to help the Volleyroos key in a Final Four appearance. 

Iran started strong in the first set, getting the wing and the middle attack activated. They showed much variety in their offense, which caused them to mostly keep the lead. Captain Aytak Salamat continued to be relied upon, while Shaghayegh Hassankhani supported by scoring from the flanks. Mobina Ghafarian made several sequences count as she scored from the middle for crucial  plays. 

Australia picked up their pace as they performed better from the service line. They patiently crawled back into the set, building their momentum from each sustained rally or each completed counter-attack.  

Iran fell into the same situation, where they established a decent lead, but would lose grip of their tempo. While they were able to extend the fourth set, they were unable to close out to their favor. 

Australian hitters Tipping and Emma Burton stepped up during breaks that ultimately dictated the outcome of the match,

With Sunday’s win, Australia have now improved their position from 2023’s sixth-place finish, and will aim for a place at the podium in their second time to participate in the championship.

The participating teams will take a much needed rest and recovery day before heading the semi-finals on Tuesday. The Finals set on Wednesday will determine the team to qualify for the Volleyball World Challenger Cup on July 4-7, 2024 in Manila, Philippines.

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