The Australian men’s volleyball team has scored a resounding 3-0 win over Asian rivals China in the FIVB World League in Helsinki, Finland.
The helloworld travel Volleyroos took control from midway through the opening set, and grew stronger as the game progressed to eventually win 25-22, 25-13, 25-21.
The turning point for Australia was a fierce serving run from Volleyroo Beau Graham, which took the Australians from 15-17 to 20-17.
Coach Mark Lebedew said it was a sign of the team’s character that they were able to bounce back after the disappointment of their loss against Japan last weekend.
“It was a tough week after the loss to Japan which you could see in our start to the match,” he said.
“After that service run of Beau's we really settled and were really able to control the game at the net. Our serving kept their setter off the net, and our block and defence were really able to dominate.
“What was especially pleasing was how united the team was both on and off the court. The guys really fought for each other. If we can play like that every day, we will be competitive against any team.”
Captain Paul Carroll led the way again on the scoreboard, with 16 points, while Nathan Roberts finished with 13.
“We executed our game very well,” Carroll said.
“We were much better than last week. We were ready to fight and China didn’t play their top volleyball.
“We played good volleyball and served better than last weekend.”
The win also gives Australia the Hancock Prospecting Cup, which is awarded to the winner of any FIVB official match between the helloworld travel Volleyroos and China. The Cup, which was introduced in 2015, will be up for grabs again next week when the two teams meet in China.
Australia’s next World League match will be Friday night against Slovakia, who beat the helloworld travel Volleyroos 3-1 last weekend.