Saturday, September 01, 2007
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Australia started its campaign in the opener of the Asian Volleyball Championship here by thrashing India 3-1 at Bung Karno Indoor Tennis Stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta, on Friday.
The 1999 and 2001 silver medalists were stunned by the Indian team, which stole some points to win the first set 25-22.
Led by captain Benjamin Hardy, Australia managed to bounce back to dominate the rest of the game.
"In a couple of sets, we were left behind," Australia's coach Russell Borgeaud said after the match.
"Some of our guys were a little bit nervous ... it was an important match.
"So India kept attacking us."
"But the players survived the attacks to lift their intensity and their level of play to win the next sets."
He said his team needed to improve their performance if they wanted to win the tournament.
"We are inconsistent ... we still have some work to do ... but this is a good start," he said.
India coach G.E. Sridharan said his team played well in the first set but Australia's players managed to penetrate their defense in the following sets.
Sridharan said his team had to play all out in the next game against 1993 finalists Kazakhstan on Saturday to realize their hopes of making the top eight.
"It is not impossible ... we have met them once previously and we won," Sridharan said.
In other opening matches, Taiwan tasted victory by trouncing Qatar 3-1, while 2003 bronze medalists Iran defeated Vietnam 3-1. Later in the day, Kazakhstan outclassed Kuwait 3-0.
On Saturday, Australia is set to meet Kuwait, Kazakhstan would take on India and Iran would face Pakistan.(02)