OTTAWA, CANADA: What a win! What a way to end the the third of five weekends of Volleyball Nations League for the Helloworld Travel Volleyroos
with an upset win over world powerhouses Germany!
Jordan Richards top scored for Australia but there were heroes all over the court in green and gold as a tough weekend for the Volleyroos finished
on a wonderful high as red hot Germany were seen off in a thrilling five set classic 3-2 (25-22, 18-25, 17-25, 25-18, 15-11).
The Germans were odds on favourites for the Canadian leg of their VNL campaign and came into the match with the Volleyroos looking for a clean
sweep over the weekend following impressive wins over the USA and the hosts on Saturday night. They didn't count on the Aussie "never say
die" attitude on the Volleyball court.
There was plenty on the line for Andrea Giani’s German side who expect to be their when the whips are cracking however, it was the battling
Aussie’s who bagged their first win of the weekend and just their second of the campaign.
Make no mistake this was no fluke the Volleyroos deserved the win. This was Germany’s first five-setter since losing 3-2 to Montenegro in 2016
- a long 23 games ago and although it was a rollercoaster match which had the Ottawa fans on the edge of their seats, that won’t ease the
pain for Giani who will rue his side’s fifth, and most dramatic, VNL defeat.
The Aussie’s, despite only two wins so far, have shown in patches they belong in amongst the very best - they just need to work on consistency
and keep their form in check for the whole match.
That was true once again for large patches of this clash as Richards (15 spikes, a block and an ace) and Thomas Hodges (10 points) posed plenty
of questions for the Europeans to answer, especially in the first set which saw some supreme play from Australia.
While Hodges led the way with some fearsome attacking play, it was the defensive nature of Mark Lebedew’s side which helped them force their
way to the lead.
Beau Graham in particular was impressive at the net - a brilliant block at 16-13 helped set the stall for his team-mates to finish the job.
That moment however stunned Germany into life and with Reichert (nine spikes, two blocks and four aces) and top scorer Christian Fromm (18
spikes, two blocks and an ace) once more providing the power, Giani saw his men deservedly draw level and even though Hodges was unleashing
some fearsome spikes, it wasn’t enough.
Germany’s serve was tough to deal with - they finished with eleven aces to Australia’s four although making a massive 40 errors certainly didn’t
There were plenty of times in this one that you thought the Volleyroos were gone but its just not in the sporting psyche of Australians to
give in. Fighting back from 1-2 down the Aussies took it to a fifth set tie breaker and from there was no stopping them, the Volleyroos
showed all the VNL that they are not to be taken lightly with a win for the ages.
Australian fans will get a chance to see the VNL up close when Melbourne's Hi-Sense Arena plays host to Poland (world champions) Brazil (Olympic
Champions) and Argentina (Pan American Champions) over the weekend of June 22-24 tickets on SALE now through Ticketek click here.