Round Two of the Australian Volleyball League concluded this weekend, where the WA Steel teams travelled to Sydney to fight for their first wins of the season. Unfortunately, both teams returned disappointed.
The women started off strong with a tight five-set match against the UTSSU Shield on Saturday night, but just missed out on claiming victory. The following morning the team had to find the strength to show up again after a heart breaking loss and give it their all, which as any coach or athlete knows is a tough feat. The second match proved to be a challenge and the opposition prevailed.
Women’s Head Coach Mandy Combes explained, “The team put up an awesome fight on Saturday and had the match within their grasp 2-1 sets up and 22-21 up in the fourth set. Crucial errors at crucial times can be the difference between a win and a loss and this certainly was the case on Saturday.”
Although 0-4 is a tough start to any season, Coach Combes acknowledged what needs to improve while the team continues to look ahead with a positive outlook. “We had a very young team in Sydney who stepped up and played some great points and rallies. Further consistency for the entirety of a match will prove to the girls what it takes to win games at this level. One win will build belief moving forward, so hopefully Adelaide will be an opportunity to show the league that we are getting better and better each week,” Combes added.
On the men’s side, Head Coach Mitch Collins admitted the challenges they faced in Round Two after going down to UTSSU 0-3 in both matches. “The team struggled to hold the level of consistency which is required to achieve success at an AVL level. Whilst we had moments of playing a very high standard of volleyball, we were unable to hold that level for long enough to close out sets,” Said Collins.
Every single set for the men was within reach, with the largest gap being 6 points between the Steel and the Shield in their final scores. It is this fact that makes the losses even more frustrating.
As with the women, the men will not succumb to the remainder of the season. Collins proudly added, “The boys continue to dig deep and fight hard through each and every match, continuing to give ourselves opportunities. The next step for the team will be to take advantage of the opportunities we create in order to achieve the success we are working so hard to obtain.”
The Steel will finish off their back-to-back away rounds when they travel to Adelaide this weekend to face the Storm in Round Three. Game times for this weekend are listed below.
- Saturday 2nd at 5:30pm – WA Steel Women vs Adelaide Storm
- Saturday 2nd at 7:30pm – WA Steel Men vs Adelaide Storm
- Sunday 3rd at 10:00am – WA Steel Women vs Adelaide Storm
- Sunday 3rd at 12:00pm – WA Steel Men vs Adelaide Storm
To stay up to date on the Volleyball WA Steel and their 2019 AVL campaign, follow them on Instagram and Facebook (@vwasteel) and head to avl.org.au.
Photo Credit: Joel 20-10 Photography