New-look Volleyroos go down fighting to Slovakia in World League

Australia has been beaten 3-1 by host nation Slovakia in its second match of the men’s 2017 FIVB World Volleyball League, but coach Mark Lebedew said he was still pleased with the effort.

Lebedew decided to rest captain Paul Carroll and the team’s most capped player, Nathan Roberts, after their starring role in Friday night’s 3-2 win over Portugal, with the new line-up taking some time to gel.

“We played with a different lineup tonight and it took them half a set to find their rhythm,” Lebedew said.

“Once we did we were able to do a really good job with our serve and block and could really put them under pressure. Our commitment and intensity was excellent and we fought back from tough situations to have a chance to go up 2-1.

“In the end we lacked a little bit of luck, but if we play exactly the same game 10 times we would win eight of them. For that reason I am pleased with the effort.”

Slovakia took the opening set 25-22, before the Volleyroos took control at the net to take the second 21-25.

The third set was very even, with both teams having several chances to take control. Australia held set point three times, but with an enthusiastic home crowd urging them on, Slovakia eventually took the set 30-28.

The match remained even in the fourth set until the score reached 18-all, with the home team skipping away to take the set 25-22 and the match 3-1.

Lincoln Williams was the leading point scorer for Australia with 19, while Sam Walker had an incredible seven blocks at the net.

Australia will platy Japan, who has lost both their opening matches, on Sunday before heading to Finland next weekend.