Volleyroos ready for the best
17 July 2014
VOLLEYBALL: Australia will be missing three of their Olympic stars when they take on the United States tomorrow morning (Australian time) in their first match of the Volleyball World League finals in Italy.
Two of the players, veteran Nathan Roberts and Travis Passier, missed last weekend's historic qualifying wins over Netherlands and France in Sydney, while setter Harry Peacock aggravated an injury during Saturday night's game and did not make the trip to Florence.
Despite the absence of the star trio, coach Jon Uriarte isconfident his team has the depth to cover the losses.
"I've got a big belief about the way we work," he said.
"We have done amazing things in the past, like qualify for the (2012) Olympics. Something huge is happening. We've got the team, and I need to use all the cards we've got up our sleeve."
Australia plays USA and host nation Italy in its pool, while Brazil, Russia and Iran will contest the second pool.
The Volleyroos go into the World League final as the outsiders, after qualifying by winning group two. The other five finalists all finished top of group one pools.
The United States lost only two matches during qualifying for Italy.
But captain Aidan Zingel believes his team can make their presence felt.
"We've become a whole different team, it's phenomenal," he said.
"I'm so happy to be part of it. This is the same feeling we had when we qualified for the Olympics. It's something so big and so special for us."
Game one against USA starts at 4am AEST and will be televised live on Fox Sports.