The Australian Indoor Women’s team returned just over a week ago from Vietnam where they competed in 2 tournaments. The first tournament was over 3 days and was sponsored by the Vietsovpetro Volleyball Team. The tournament was held in Vung Tau in the south of Vientam, a beautiful coastal location which was a rare site for those Australian team members who have been to Vietnam up to 10 times before for volleyball, without seeing the ocean! They finished 3rd in the lead in tournament and won 40,000,000 Dong. And before you think the team has become instant millionaires, this is the equivalent of AU $2,000!
This tournament was designed as match preparation for the VTV Cup run by Vietnam television. This is a huge competition for Vietnam held twice a year, and sees a number of international teams compete. Games are broadcast live on 2 different stations running around the clock, and there are interviews and news bulletins just about the competition. There are crowds of over 6,000 people, which is rarely seen in Australia. The crowds really get behind their national Vietnamese team, who Australia has a long-standing history with. Included among the supporters of the national team were a cheer squad, a brass band and members of the crowd bring their own drums. A sight that the Australians found hard to believe until witnessing it for themselves.
The second tournament was held in Ninh Binh in the north of Vietnam. The Australian team won a few crucial matches including a game against the Kazakhstan National team and a team representing Thailand. Preparation for the team since December in particular has seen a strong focus on defence and blocking. The Australian women admit to struggling with this part of the game for a long time against our Asian opponents, as they play an extremely fast game.
This preparation and collective work over the past 4-5 years led to the results that were achieved on this trip. The team have attended many camps together, many of which are self-funded, to ensure that they have enough practice together as a team before facing opposition overseas.
Next on the program are the World Champ Qualifiers in Japan, and Asian Seniors in Thailand. Both of these events are held in September. It is the first time the national indoor Women’s team has played in the World Cup Qualifiers in recent year and which is a testament to their training and commitment.
We will follow their preparation and results at these two tournaments.
Check out images from Vietnam: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Volleyball-WA/144107898987077