FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Australia beat Canada for first World League clean sweep

Australia's defence was working well against Canada

Sydney, Australia, July 6, 2014 - Australia had the perfect build-up for next weekend's Group two Final Four, with a clean sweep against Canada in Sydney, winning the second of two matches 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-18).

Key Points
•  The win sees Australia record their first World League clean sweep, adding today's 3-1 win to yesterday's 3-2 (25-27, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 15-7) win against Canada.

•  Australia have already qualified for the Group 2 Final Four as hosts and they don't have to travel abroad anymore, adding significance to strong home form. Their win tonight was their third home win in the World League.

• Australia captain Aidan Zingel started the afternoon with 37 stuff blocks in the 2014 World League, the most of anyone in Group 2. He added five blocks to his tally today.

• Canada's Gavin Schmitt came into the afternoon as the leading scorer in Group 2 with 237 points, 53 more than anyone else in Group 2. He didn't play a minute in the match on Sunday.

• Australia will play in the FIVB Volleyball World League 2014 Group 2 Finals which take place in Sydney from July 11-13. Canada's World League is over for 2014.

Canadian coach Glenn Hoag promised to use Canada's final World League match for 2014 to give more court time to his bench players, and he was true to his word. He left leading scorer Gavin Schmitt and captain Freddie Winters on the bench.

Australia seemed to react by taking their foot off the pedal, making several errors in judgment to gift soft points to the visitors.

At 16-11 Canada had opened up one of those leads coach Hoag said you should never lose from. And although there were nervous moments, the visitors held their nerve to close out the set 25-22.

Australia coach Uriarte read the riot act to his side and they came out a different team for the second opening up a 4-1 lead. Tom Douglas-Powell was getting his chance to impress, and his enthusiasm seemed to lift his teammates.

The home side did give the big home crowd some anxious moments though, letting a 24-17 scoreline slip to 24-22 before a Tom Edgar drive sealed the second set.

Dallas Soonias was making the most of his opportunities for Canada, picking up 18 points by the midway stage of the third set. Both teams lifted their intensity and traded points until Edgar took control and led Australia to a 16-10 lead.

Again Australia gave away soft points late, but had opened up a big enough margin to push on and take the third set 25-17.

The fight for the position of starting Opposite in the Australian side is healthy, and after Paul Carroll’s strong showing on Saturday night, Edgar was relishing his chance to respond. He was dominant in the fourth set, notching up his 20th point to help Australia to a 13-11 lead.

Soonias was continuing his strong performance for the visitors, but with the lure of a first ever clean sweep lifting the Volleyroos and their supporters, it wasn't to be for Canada.

Australia took the final set 25-18, and the match 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-18) - Australia's first World League clean sweep coming on the eve of next week’s Group two Final Four in Sydney.

Edgar and Soonias led all scorers with 24 points each. Jason Derocco had 14 points for Canada and Zingel picked up 14 for Australia.

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