September 7, 2013 – The Australian men's volleyball team clawed its way
back from one set down to beat Kazakhstan in a hard-fought encounter for their
second victory at the Pool A of the Asian Men’s final qualification round for
the World Championships on Saturday, 3-1 (17-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-17).
host – with two wins from two matches this tournament – is the only unbeaten team,
as it prepares to play against last rivals Thailand on Sunday.
Thailand was beaten by Kazakhstan in straight sets on the first day
of the tournament. Saturday’s win almost guarantees Australia will
qualify for next year's World Championships in Poland if they
beat Thailand tomorrow.
head coach Jon Uriarte described their win as the team's “toughest win in the
seven or eight years I have coached this team,” referencing the
The pressure on the host team was enormous in the first
set. Australia gave up several easy points on serving early in the
first set, and Kazakhstan put pressure on the Australians to win
25-17. More serving errors in the second set, especially from veterans Zingel
and Tom Edgar, again put the Volleyroos behind. But this time they were able to
regain their composure to snatch the set 25-23.The second-set loss appeared to snap Kazakhstan from
their slumber, and they quickly raced to a 14-9 lead in the third. But some
power hitting from Edgar and brilliant team-lifting performances by Greg
Sukochev and Zingel stunned the crowd and the Kazach's, with the Volleyroos
eventually taking the set 25-20.The comeback was a shock to Kazakhstan, as
Australia cruised through the final set 25-17.
we finished the last Olympic cycle, this year has been very difficult,” said
Australia’s Coach Uriarte. “We have had to find solutions in different spots.
We got on court in such an important position a boy who is 17-years-old (libero
Luke Perry). We have had to replace our starting centre, (Aidan) Zingel is
coming back from a shoulder operation. It is his first major competition in
eight months. Putting all this together, to come back to this first major competition
was very difficult.”
pointed out his team played Kazakhstan two years ago in China,
and their opponents had exactly the same six in their starting line-up
today. Australia only had three members of the starting line-up from
happened during that match today was so important, because the team could react
and read and adjust,” he said. “They were able to overcome emotionally the
pressure applied by an excellent team.”
wouldn't say we got away with anything, I think we came back well and fought
well,” Edgar said. “We had a time-out, we had a chat, we had a re-focus. They
have a lot of young guys, like our team, so once you get on top of them, and
get a big strong block in front of them, it makes it difficult to side out.
We're one of the best blocking teams probably in the world with our size, so we
can match it with anyone with our blocks."
in the day, Thailand notched its first victory of the tournament, beating
Kuwait in four sets, 3-1 (25-27, 25-14, 25-18, 25-14), to give them an
outside chance of qualifying for next year.
Sriutthawong starred for Thailand, and said after the match his team's
performance had been affected by poor food choices in their hotel.
Asian Men’s Final Qualification Tournament, 16 teams are split into four pools
of four teams. Only the top ranked team in each pool will win a place at the 2014
FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship, which will take place in Poland from
September 3 to 21, 2014.
Pool A: Australia (host), Kazakhstan, Thailand, Kuwait
Pool B: Iran (host), Pakistan, Indonesia, Bahrain
Pool C: China (host), India, Chinese Taipei, Saudi Arabia
Pool D: Japan (host), Korea, Qatar, New Zealand
Results and schedule:
Australia vs. Kuwait 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-18)
Thailand vs. Kazakhstan 0-3 (17-25, 15-25, 22-25)
Thailand vs. Kuwait 3-1 (25-27, 25-14, 25-18, 25-14)
Australia vs. Kazakhstan 3-1(17-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-17)
Kazakhstan vs. Kuwait
Australia vs. Thailand