Finland squares volleyball series with Australia
10 June 2014
VOLLEYBALL: Finland and Australia are locked at 1 game each after two tough five set matches in Canberra for the FIVB World League.
On Sunday night Finland fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia in five sets.
The result is Finland’s first win of the 2014 season, and is a reversal of the previous night’s result when Australia notched up its first ever World League victory, also in five sets.
If the Volleyroos thought the previous night’s victory might make them a different side on the court, the opening set quickly proved old habits die hard.
After racing to a 5-1 lead, and then 16-10, Australia let Finland back into the set and eventually surrendered the lead 20-19.
A titanic struggle followed before, despite several serving errors, the visitors closed out the opening set 30-28.
Finland’s high error count continued in the second set, but this time the Australians weren’t so forgiving, despite once again giving up an 8-5 lead.
The Volleyroos won the last six points of the set to win 25-19.
It gave them momentum into the third set, which was dominated by the brute strength of Australia’s 212cm Opposite, Tom Edgar.
The Australians raced to an early lead, and this time refused to take the pressure off, running away with the set 25-17.
Australia began making mistakes in the fourth set, which gave Finland the glimmer of hope it needed to get back into the match. And when Australia once again gave up a lead (17-15) there was no turning back for the Finns, taking the set 25-21 and forcing the match once again to a deciding fifth set.
This time the emotion wasn’t enough for the home team, with the Finns showing the steely resolve needed to close out a match. The final score was: Finland defeated Australia 30-28, 19-25, 17-25, 25-21, 15-9.
Both teams now head to Finland for the return leg next weekend.
Ross Solly for Volleyball Australia