The Australian men’s Volleyroos have lost 3-0 in a warm-up match to reigning World Champions Poland as they finalise preparations for next weekend’s start of the FIVB World League.
The Volleyroos have been struggling with injuries during a pre-event camp in Poland this month, and were without star Libero, Luke Perry, who has a minor knee injury.
The team also lost exciting young player, Max Staples with a dislocated shoulder.
Coach Mark Lebedew, in his first year with the Volleyroos, said he saw positives in the result.
“I thought that the team started really well and matched Poland point for point, and we’re a little bit unlucky to lose the set,” he said.
“After losing the set we were a little bit rattled and quickly dug a hole for ourselves in the second and then became a bit frustrated as Poland also played better.”
The Volleyroos return this year to Group Two of the World League after two seasons in the top division. They play three weekends of round-robin matches, starting next weekend in Slovakia, before moving to Finland and China.
Australia will host the semi-finals of World League Group Two on the Gold Coast next month, and Lebedew is confident of a forward showing.
“Obviously we missed Perry but leading up to WL, I am cautiously optimistic,” he said.
“We have another week to prepare including a match against Canada. The individual players are getting better every day. A lot will depend on how the teamwork can also develop in that time.”
Veteran Opposite Paul Carroll, who has won five German titles playing with leading European club BR Volley, will captain the Volleyroos during the World League campaign.