The Australian women’s volleyball team has moved on from the disappointment of missing out on qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games through the Asian Olympic Qualification tournament.
The Olympic qualification campaign included 35 matches, making it the best-prepared campaign for the women’s Volleyroos since 2004, but the team fell short of making it through.
Senior player Jenny Tait summed up the feelings within the team after missing out on qualifying for Tokyo with this post on Instagram:
The end of this tour has been hard to process. As a kid growing up in Australia the Olympics are the pinnacles of the sporting world. We grow up watching it no matter what hour of the day or night it is and we cheer on our Aussies as if they were our best friends. As a kid I didn’t ever picture myself as an athlete or even having a chance of going to the Olympics but that changed as I fell in love with the sport of volleyball. Heading into this tournament we dreamed of winning it. Why wouldn’t you when it comes down to just one point at a time? That didn’t happen and we didn’t get the ticket to Tokyo and unfortunately didn’t make it out of our pool either. As a team we struggled with this. It has hit us all at different times that our Olympic dream wasn’t to be. It’s still hard to think about but I’m thankful for each one of my team mates who dared to dream and who lived through the pain together.
The team now has a wealth of experience through major competitions with the core group of players approaching or past 100 caps, coupled with exciting young players coming into the squad.
Head coach Marty Collins says there is plenty of self-belief within the playing group; “We achieved every goal we set this year and had some defining moments along the way through both wins and losses against quality opponents. “ He went on to say, “The Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament was the first time where we didn’t meet our goal and it hit all of us quite hard. This is promising for the future as it shows the belief that the team has against any opponent. Moving forward we have lots of opportunities available to us that we are working towards whilst managing what players can afford.”