Australian women’s volleyball coach Shannon Winzer has praised her team’s persistence, but conceded executing a perfect game plan takes time, after the Helloworld Travel Volleyroos lost 3-1 to a strong Kazakhstan team.
It was a roller-coaster performance from the Helloworld Travel Volleyroos, who were at their best in winning a hard-fought third set against the host nation, but then failed to make double figures in two other sets.
24 hours earlier the Volleyroos showed what they are capable of with a 3-0 win over Fiji, but on Friday found the step up in class against Kazakhstan a challenge, losing 15-25, 6-25, 25-22, 9-25.
“While execution wasn't always there tonight, our team never stopped trying to find answers and while the scores don't show it, we didn't accept defeat lightly,” Winzer said.
“From every loss there are lessons to be learnt. The scores don't show it, but we didn't give up lightly and we kept trying different things.
“It really shows a certain level or resilience and persistence, and that's a good thing.”
Only two teams competing this week will go through to next year’s World Championships in Tokyo, with Olympic gold medallists, China, and the host nation the favourites.
Winzer said Kazakhstan is a very underrated team.
“Kazakhstan is a very strong team,” she said.
“We have been fairly consistent passers so far this competition, but really struggled to pass Kazakhstan's serves in the first two sets.
“When we did get the ball into attack we were up against big disciplined blocks, and we lost confidence fast.
“We turned it around in the third set and controlled our first contact and aggressively attacked their block. Winning that set showed what can happen when we play to our full potential.
“However in the fourth set we saw a re-energised Kazakhstan team, and while our passing remained strong, Kazakhstan’s blocking and defense was relentless.”
Australia takes on China in the final match of their campaign on Saturday.