Volleyroos fall in tough four set battle18 July 2014
VOLLEYBALL: Australia has lost its first match of the Volleyball World League finals in Italy, beaten in four sets by the United States.
It was a disappointing result for the Volleyroos, after they won the opening set 25-22 and opened up an early lead in the second.
But the Australians were outplayed by the Americans in the next three sets, losing 18-25, 23-25, 18-25.
Captain Aidan Zingel says the Volleyroos struggled to deal with the Americans' serve and a lack of crowd atmosphere.
"They found their serve," he said.
"It wasn't consistent in the first set, but in the second and third - it wasn't just the aces, it was also the high ball situations, the blocking and the offence - that was the difference.
"We've had a 30-hour travel, it's a different atmosphere, a lot of these people don't know any of our players, we have to bring it ourselves, and it's tough."
The Australians must now beat host nation Italy, who beat USA 3-0 on the opening night, tomorrow to have any hope of making this weekend's finals.
Tom Edgar was once again Australia's main points winner, notching up 20 for the match, nine of them in a dominant first set.
After playing to loud, capacity crowds in Australia last weekend, Edgar said the Volleyroos struggled to lift themselves against USA.
"I'm actually really surprised with how the crowd was today," he said.
"This is World League finals, and I honestly expected more people and I expected more hype. It makes Sydney all the more special, here it was all about us creating the energy instead of us driving off the energy created by the crowd.
"We came out aggressive, we came out strong, we played out volleyball really well, but then we slipped off a bit."
Tomorrow's match against Italy starts at 430am, AEST.