CAPTAIN CARROLL GUIDES AUSTRALIA TO VICTORY OVER SOUTH KOREA\
Seoul, South Korea, July 15, 2018 – Australia returned to winning ways with their veteran captain Paul Carroll’s 21 points leading them to a 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21) victory over South Korea as the FIVB Volleyball Nations League moved into its fourth round on Friday
While not much has gone right so far for either of the two teams in action at the Jangchung Gym, it was the Australians who managed to find form after an early first-set scare and the 32-year-old Carroll drew on his wealth of experience as he slammed down 20 spikes from 29 attempts.
A telling statistic was the blocks – with a final count of 12-4 to the Aussies showing just how much their big men dominated. Both middle blocker Nehemiah Mote (14 points) and wing spiker Luke Smith (13 points) were the other major performers on the night for Australia.
For the home side the honors were shared between wing spiker Jeong Kwang-In (13 points) and opposite spiker Moon Sung-Min (12 points) but overall they struggled to contend with the Australian’s power at the net.
The Koreans had given their fans plenty to cheer about by winning the first set – only the second time in the VNL so far that they have taken one off their opponents. But that was as good and things got as they failed to find a way past the Australians.
South Korea remain the only nation not to have picked up a victory in the VNL and sit at 0-10 with Italy and then fellow strugglers China still to come in the fourth round.
Meanwhile the win moves Australian on to 3-7 and they face China on Saturday before rounding the trip to Seoul out with Sunday’s match against Italy.
Australia coach Mark Lebedew said: “I am happy with today’s performance. We have improved in each round. Every round, the weakest match was the first match, so we focused more on today’s match. It wasn’t perfect but because of our compact defense we were able to win this match.”
Australia captain Paul Carroll said: “I was impressed with Korea’s playing style. They served well and got the first set with the support from their home fans. However, we dominated physically. We did well with the high balls and in blocking.”
Korea coach Kim Hochul said: “At the beginning of the first set, we started as we expected. Our players played as much as they could. However from the second set our reception became a problem. Jung Jiseok and Kwak Seung-suk were the players who had the key to make the game flow, but the two players were not able to play as our team expected.
“Lots of teams have different strategies and as our team has weaknesses in the middle we tried to solve that with strong serves. But if one server missed a point it affected the next server. And that caused a lot of misses.”
Korea captain Moon Sungmin said: “First of all we had a lot of misses during today’s match. The most important point for us was blocking. We were not able to block or touch as many balls as we expected. To refresh our team spirit, we must push for another win.”
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