Australia puts up tough fight in opening World Grand Prix match



The Australian women’s volleyball team has shown plenty of fight despite losing to home team Mexico 3-1 in their opening match of the FIVB World Grand Prix in Aguascalientes.

The helloworld Volleyroos started brightly, taking the opening set 25-22, but then went behind 4-0 at the start of the second, the Mexicans bringing the crowd to life to take the set 25-22.

Small mistakes started to creep into the Australian game in the third set, with the Volleyroos finding it hard to penetrate the Mexican defensive wall. The crowd continued to be a factor, the home team taking the third 25-18.

At 20-15 in the fourth the match looked over, however the Australians clawed their way back to 20-all, but after a brief exchange of points, the Mexicans clinched the fourth set 25-23 and the match 3-1.

Rachel Rourke, in her first match for the Volleyroos since 2014, finished with a 28 points, including four service aces, but the big difference was Mexico’s 19 blocks at the net, successfully shutting down several Australian attacks.

"Mexico played very well tonight and we lacked consistency on attack," coach Shannon Winzer said.

"The inclusion of Sainz for Mexico in the second set made a big difference for them, and their blockers did a good job of shutting down our hitters.

"Our first contact remained consistent and gave us plenty of offensive opportunity but we struggled to put the ball away."

Australia take on Hungary, who posted a 3-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in their opening match, on Sunday morning, Australian time.

Find full match statistics and pics from game one here.