Aussies bounce back with win over Venezuela
Published 29 May 2016 (AEDT)
VOLLEYBALL: The Australian men’s volleyball team has bounced back from the disappointment of losing its opening match with an impressive 3-1 over Venezuela at the Olympic qualifiers in Tokyo.
Led by an outstanding blocking display from former captain, Aidan Zingel, the helloworld Volleyroos fought back after a slow start to beat Venezuela 19-25, 25-20, 25-10, 25-19.
The Australians were beaten 3-0 by Iran in their opening match on Saturday, with captain Tom Edgar missing most of the match with an abdominal strain.
But Edgar returned to the starting line-up against Venezuela, and despite grimacing in pain at times, finished with a game-high 22 points.
It was Australia’s blocking game that was the difference for most of the match, Australia finishing with 11 points to Venezuela’s 4, while the South Americans also made 33 unforced errors to Australia’s 16.
Volleyroos coach, Roberto Santilli, said it was a good turnaround.
“We have to be happy with this result,” Santilli said.
“You have to be able to reset from the day before in a tournament like this. We still have the most important matches coming up, so we must focus on those matches.”
Edgar said his team needed to bounce back after the disappointment of the opening day.
“This was an important win for us after yesterday's loss to Iran,” he said.
“Venezuela is a tough team with great physical strength. They played at a high level. We knew we would have to weather the storm against them and play well.”
There is a rest day tomorrow, before Australia takes on Canada on Tuesday morning. The Volleyroos need to be the top-ranked Asian team to guarantee a ticket to the Rio Olympics.