Volleyroos head to World Grand Prix aiming to make their mark


The Australian women’s volleyball team depart for Mexico on Friday confident they can have their most successful World Grand Prix campaign since joining the prestigious competition in 2014.

The young Australian team has never won a match at a Grand Prix level, but have taken enormous steps in the past 12 months to raise the level of their game.

The biggest change has been the establishment of the women’s volleyball Centre of Excellence at the AIS in Canberra.

Full-time women’s coach Shannon Winzer has been able to spend several months working with some of Australia’s most promising female volleyball talent on a full-time basis, the first time this has ever occurred in Australia.

Several of Australia’s best players have been getting valuable experience playing in overseas leagues, including new captain Beth Carey and former beach player, Karley Hynes, as well as Sophie Godfrey and Katarina Osadchuk.

And Australia’s greatest ever female indoor player, Rachel Rourke, will return to the team after a two year absence in what will be an enormous boost to the morale of the squad and for the development of the younger players.

The Volleyroos will begin their FIVB World Grand Prix campaign in Aguascalientes, Mexico, taking on the host nation, Trinidad and Tobago and Hungary, before heading to Port of Spain to once again take on Trinidad and Tobago, Cameroon and France.

The team will then return to Canberra to host the World Grand Prix Group 3 finals on the weekend of July 22/23.

The Australian Grand Prix team is;

Setters:
Sophie Paine (VIC)
Kelly Lean (VIC)

Middles:
Beth Carey (Capt) (SA)
Sophie Godfrey (WA)
Jennifer Tait (QLD)
Katarina Osadchuk (QLD)

Pass hitters:
Karley Hynes (VIC)
Rebecca Reeve (SA)
Hannah Martin (VIC)
Jaimee-Lee Morrow (VIC)

Opposites:
Rachel Rourke (QLD)
Jennifer Sadler (WA)

Liberos:
Alice De Innocentiis (NSW)
Kathryn Chen (VIC)