A new-look helloworld Volleyroos team has put up a brave performance in its opening match of the Asian Volleyball Confederation Cup in Thailand, losing 3-1 to Olympians Iran.
Australia has picked a young squad for the AVC Cup, including several of the country’s top junior and youth players, as it begins to shape a potential squad for the Tokyo 2020 campaign.
Iran started strongly, taking the opening set 25-21, before the Australians fought back to take the second 23-25.
Iran consolidated to take the final two sets, and the match, 25-21, 23-25, 25-17, 25-18.
“This was a good starting effort for this new look young squad, with seven out of the 12 players making their senior debut for the Volleyroos,” coach Roberto Santilli said.
Wearing Australian senior colours for the first time were Jordan Colotti, Malachi Murch, Elliot Viles, Max Senica, Lewis Kehl, James Takken and Simon Hone.
19-year-old Mitch Tulley led the scoring for the Volleyroos with 19 points, with Hone impressing on debut with 15 points.
Captain Tom Hodges and regular Volleyroo, Jordan Richards, were the most experienced of the Volleyroos in action for the opening match.
The helloworld Volleyroos will take on South Korea on Friday. The Koreans won a five-set thriller against Japan on Thursday.
The fifth edition of the AVC Cup features the top eight teams from last year’s Asian Championships, and is being played at Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.