Photo Credit: Mark Avellino Photography
The Australian Helloworld Travel Volleyroos have lost their second straight match at home in the Volleyball Nations League going down to Argentina in four sets 1-3 (20-25, 19-25, 25-20, 21-25) in front of a vocal home crowd at Melbourne’s Hisense Arena.
The Aussies were keen to get back to their winning ways after world number one Brazil ended the Aussies four game winning streak on Friday night (0-3).
Argentina came into the match on the back of four straight defeats in the VNL but had never lost to the 'Volleyroos' in their five previous head-to-head clashes at world level events and kept their perfect record intact.
The visitors started strongly while the Aussies seemed tentative and just couldn’t find that rhythm and cohesion that had served them so well last weekend in South Korea.
“First set we looked lost out there pretty disappointing because we played so well last week and we showed glimpses yesterday against Brazil and we wanted to take steps today but we didnt.” Said Captain Paul Carroll.
The Argentinians serve reception was the feature of their game in the first two sets that frustrated the Volleryoos into errors.
“Their serve reception of our float serves was better than any other team has in this competition and that allowed them to run a good offence.” Said Carroll.
The South Americans raced through the opening two sets in brilliant fashion, aided by some loose serving from the Australians.
The Australians lifted in the third and crucial set with nothing to lose and their younger players in particular like Max Staples (11 points), Jordan Richards
and Arash Dosanjh were up and about with Richards top scoring (15) and Nehemiah Mote (14) also damaging when given good ball.
The crowd then found new energy to make sure this match was not over yet with the Aussies finishing strongly for a 25-20 set win and now 1-2 for the match.
The fourth set was the first time the Aussies led early but this Argentinian side would not go away and it came down to a few close calls that could have gone either way. Unfortunately for the locals it went Argentinas way for them to take the set (25-21) and the match 3-1.
“We fought really well in the third and fourth sets, we were a bit unlucky at the end of the fourth set, we had a series where we couldn’t side out, that can happen, just disappointing we started a bit slowly left ourselves in a 2-0 hole. We fought really hard in that second period but the damage was done.” Said Volleyroos coach Mark Lebedew.
The Australians have one last chance to redeem themselves in front of their home fans to wrap up the five weeks of the VNL against Poland tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon.
“We love playing the Polish they have a big fan base here in Melbourne so it’ll be a big crowd and we just hope the fans can get up each other a bit.” Said Carroll.
SUNDAYS GAMES - Tickets through Ticketek
BRAZIL V ARGENTINA 12.10PM
AUSTRALIA V POLAND 3.10PM (LIVE ON FOX SPORTS CH 505)