International Volleyball

AUSTRALIA OUTPLAY INDIA IN 3-1 BATTLE AT AVC CHALLENGE CUP

AUSTRALIA OUTPLAY INDIA IN 3-1 BATTLE AT AVC CHALLENGE CUP

Manila, Philippines, May 25, 2024 – Australia collected their second victory in Pool A of the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women after a tough 3-1 match (26-24, 25-16, 19-25, 29-27) against India. 

Caitlin Tipping topped the scoreboard, amassing 27 explosive points to power the Volleyroos to victory on Saturday evening in front of a packed Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Captain and setter Mikaela Stevens said โ€œThat was a pretty difficult match for us.  We donโ€™t get a lot of tough competition back home. And we lost to them (India) twice last year so we were really coming out this time to fight back. Iโ€™m just really glad we were to execute what we wanted to do.โ€

Australia composed their offense as planned around Tipping. As with previous matches, she played a solid all-around game. She was consistent from the wings, she helped in block defense, and she was supporting the backcourt on receive. The opponents needed to stop her, if not limit her output in order to strengthen the stake in the Preliminary Round.  

To spark Australiaโ€™s game further, Ella Schabort brought in her share of the score from the right side, while block monster Cassandra Dodd also imposed such strong presence upon the net. She thwarted the opponentsโ€™ attacks and converted with a number of block points. 

India needed to gain control of the match by finding their usual rhythm. They have played steadily, so far in the competition, effecting good decision-making in transition. 

India looked to bring their level even higher, especially as their opponents were performing well from the service area. They were able to perform better by tightening their floor coverage, and setting Anusree Kambrath Poyilil and Anagha Radnakrishnan from the flank. Setter Jini Kovat Shaji also activated Sooryaโ€™s middle attack in several sequences. 

Coach Jai Narainโ€™s squad strove hard to extend the match, given the ups and downs of the game, but later succumbed to an attack error that cost them the fourth set and the rest of the match. 

Australia completed their 3-1 win by dominating on all scoring fronts, charting 58 attacks, 16 blocks and 11 service winners. 

Amidst the many plot twists and turns, captain and setter Mikaela Stevens commended the team in responding well. 

โ€œWe have a really young team, with not a lot of experience. There is still a learning curve, to address how we can execute our best skills in crucial moments. We stayed within our game plan and we played to our strengths. It can…

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