FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

USA find form to defeat gutsy Australia

Austalia's Thomas Edgar spikes against USA's defence

Florence, Italy, July 17, 2014 – USA beat Australia 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-19) in their FIVB World League match in Florence on Thursday night. They found some good form from the second set onward to help banish memories of their poor start against Italy on day one. 

•    Australia will need to pull off an unlikely result – a 3-0 or 3-1 win over in-form hosts Italy – in order to progress to the semi finals.

•    USA are seeking their second World League crown following their triumph in 2008.

•    Australia won their first World League Finals set on their debut in the Finals.

•    This was the two sides first meeting in the World League. They had previously met in the World Cup (2007, USA won 3-0), and the 2004 Athens Olympics (USA won 3-1).

The first set began evenly, with Edgar Thomas spiking powerfully for Australia and Taylor Sander and David Lee hitting back for USA, as the score ran closely up to 7-7 and then 18-18. But with Edgar dominant at the net, captain Aiden Zingel contributing strongly and Paul Sanderson hitting a fantastic ace, Australia took the set 25-22. USA seemed frustrated as their attacks were foiled. 

In the second set, Australia looked the better side as they went 8-5 up, but USA then rediscovered their game. Taylor Sander and Matt Anderson killed accurately, Australia started to make mistakes, and USA built a healthy lead to easily win set two 25-17 and make it 1-1.

The third set saw the two sides scrap it out again. USA led 8-7 at the first technical timeout. But again USA’s experience came into play: they were a little more consistent than Australia as they crept 16-13 ahead. Taylor Sander was the difference, scoring eight points. And America held onto their slight lead, with Matt Anderson grounding the crucial spike to win the set 25-23 and go 2-1 up.

USA asserted their dominance in set three, running 8-3 ahead. Taylor Sander and Matt Anderson started to find gaps in the Australian block. The Australians fought hard, but they couldn’t quite match the USA’s quality, and USA took the set 25-19, and the match 3-1.

Sander Taylor was the top scorer in the match with 21 points. Thomas Edgar was top scorer for Australia with 20.

Australia must now beat Italy 3-0 or 3-1 to qualify for the semi finals at USA’s expense. They play Italy on Friday evening to decide their fate.

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