Home » FIVB M: Australia cruise past Puerto Rico in Olympic qualifying

FIVB M: Australia cruise past Puerto Rico in Olympic qualifying

by WoV
source: fivb.org

Australia went 2-0 in the FIVB Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament on Saturday with their second straight 3-0 victory. The Australians overcame Puerto Rico 25-14, 25-19, 25-20 at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Gymnasium. It was Puerto Rico’s second straight 3-0 loss.


Capten Igor Yudin for Australia

Edgar Thomas led Australia with 19 points, including five blocks and three service points. Adam White had 13. Puerto Rico’s leading scorer was Ulises Maldonado with nine points. The Australians led on blocking 11-4 and on serving, 4-2.

Both teams started the match slowly, but a service ace by Thomas opened up a two-point gap at 5-3. A big Thomas kill widened the gap to three points at the first technical timeout. Puerto Rico coach Carlos Cardona called a timeout after a netted shot by Lozada Ezquiel Cruz and a block by Thomas on Cruz put Australia 116 up. A huge spike down the middle and a wide shot by Cruz widened the gap to seven points at the second TTO and the Puerto Ricans never got back into the set. Five of the last six points were Puerto Rico errors and the final margin was 11 points.

Australia coach Jon Uriarte was forced to call a timeout after three straight errors saw his team fall behind 3-6 early in the second set. Three points later – with the scores level after some good serves from ThomasCardona did likewise. More good work by Thomas gave Australia a two-point lead at the first TTO, but they lost their lead at 9-9 after some sloppy play. Good work by Maldonada and improved defence kept Puerto Rico close in the middle of the set and they drew level at 16-16. But Australia cranked up the pressure and edged ahead again. White put in some good serves at the end and he finished the set with a cracking smack into the floor.

White continued his good form at the start of the third set and Cardona called a timeout with the score at 1-5. But his team had gone off the boil, while White continued to give them problems. He made a super block on Maldonado and came up with two big hits as Australia opened up a six-point lead. But Uriarte had to call a timeout when that lead was cut in half. A great block by Travis Passier put Australia five points clear at 21-16 and they maintained that to the end.

Sunday and Monday are rest days. On Tuesday, Australia will face Iran, while Puerto Rico will meet Venezuela.

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