Ardabil, Iran, May 5, 2017 – Australia finished 11th place at the SMM 2nd Asian Men’s U23 Volleyball Championship at the 6,000-seater Rezazadeh Indoor Stadium after going down to Uzbekistan in straight sets 25-22, 25-19, 25-21 in their 9th-11th playoff match on Friday.
Australia did their best to maintain their momentum in their match against Uzbekistan, but the rivals turned the heat on them and allowed them no opportunity to fight back. Uzbekistan took the first two sets 25-22, 25-19. The Australians played cool under pressure in the third set, but Uzbekistan put their acts together and counter-attacked well to win the set 25-21 and match.
Australia’s head coach Benjamin Hardy said after the match: “My players must be more patient as they did their best in attacking, but not patient enough to get points.”
In terms of the venue conditions and facilities provided, Hardy said: “This stadium has full capacity enough to host world tournaments. The floor is great and everything including the hotel, food, and organization was very good.”
The best-scorer of Australia, Arshdeep Dosanjh, said: “Australia have so many great players at this age group. They are not in this tournament as they were committed to their clubs in Europe. So, in the future we will appear with better performance.”
Uzbekistan’s head coach Karimjan Rakhimkulov commented: “We will try to finish ninth in this tournament and we will put Sri Lanka to the limit with our form on Sunday. Actually, we expected to finish sixth, but we were not able to play in full measure.”
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