Volleyball News

Manila, Philippines, August 16, 2017 – Shifting to high gear in the latter part of the game, Iran served a sweet revenge to Australia in a 5-set thriller, 19-25, 25-18, 20-25 25-22, 15-10 to snatch the 9th place at the SMM 19th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship here.

Iran’s timely victory came sweeter as they not only managed to return the favor to Australia, a team that dealt them a 4-set loss in their Pool G match-up, but also salvage the best spot outside the Top 8 of the 14-team field.

Though failing to qualify in the quarter-finals, Iran head coach Shojaei Mirmostafa was satisfied of their final ranking given the short preparation time he had to squeeze in when he took over the program.

“I came to coach Iran just two months ago, and I changed four or five players in favor of the young ones,” said Mirmostafa. “I think our team will be good next month in Thailand for the World Championship Asian Qualifier Pool B.”

Down 2 sets to one, the Iranians suddenly found vigor with Maedeh Borhani and Mahdieh Khajehkolaei providing the big lift as their combined 29 points completed the turn around to finish their campaign on a winning note.

Mina Roosta was also pivotal their final match as her service aces in the second frame allowed Iran to erase a 14-16 disadvantage en route to stealing the set –which proved to be the much-needed boost for the team in surviving the Aussies.

Now with more time to implement his system, Mirmostafa sets sight of forming a competitive team that can compete against the top-tier squads of the region.

“Our goal is to be one of the top four teams in Asia so we inject young players,” said the mentor. “In our point of view, we will have our best team in the next three or four years.”

Australia head coach Shannon Winzer, on the other hand, looks to instill consistency in her wards heading forward after crashing to 10th spot.

“Our game today is a good reflection of how we played in the entire tournament, very inconsistent,” said Winzer.

And to do that, Winzer hopes to continuously expose the Australian volleybelles in either professional or international competitions.

“Our goal in next Asian Championship would be inside the top 8 and for us to do that is to increase the number of players we can send overseas to improve their skills,” she bared.


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