Coaches of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Group 3 finalists - Alberto Salomoni (Hungary), Shannon Winzer (Australia) and Felix Andre (France)
Canberra, Australia, July 21, 2017 – The intensity rises on the third week of the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix with the Group 3 Finals taking place for the second time in Canberra, where Australia will host debutants France, Hungary and Venezuela from July 22 to 23.Quick links - Volleyball:
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Australia hosted the Group 3 Finals for the first time in 2015, when Kenya became the first African team to reach the stage and become the eventual winners of the competition.
The hosts will try to improve on their fourth place finish in 2015 and their coach Shannon Winzer is counting on the home fans to support them again this year. She ensured that the team will show their best when they play Venezuela on Saturday at 19:10 local time.
“It’s always special to play on your home court with your fans that could give you a bit of support,” Winzer said. “It’s a special thing for the players to play in Australia because it doesn’t happen very often. People can expect some aggressive volleyball from us.”
Australia won one of six matches in the preliminary round, but their last match against France defined their potential as a great team and that having great scorers Rachel Rourke and Eliza Hynes is an advantage that would help redefine their status.
“I think we are still building our games around the first two rounds and if we can continue to improve and remain consistent throughout the game and hold on to leads, we will be successful. Having Rachel Rourke and Eliza Hynes doing well in scoring is definitely a bonus. If they are both having good days, then we could be a tough team to play against.”
Meanwhile, undefeated squads Hungary and France will highlight the all-European semifinal duel at 16:10. Both squads are determined to end each other’s winning run to move to the final on Sunday.
“We played a great preliminary round,” Hungary coach Alberto Salomoni said. "The match against France will be tough because they are undefeated too. We are ready for the match and we will give everything to get to the final. We expect our opponents to also be very strong. So may the best team win.”
“Our main objective is to win,” France coach Felix Andre said. “This is the first time France is playing in the World Grand Prix. It’s a new project for the French national women’s team, so if we continue to play at this level then it is already a good thing.
“We are still trying to learn more about the international level. I think we learned well and fast in this tournament. Our other main objective is to continue to work hard for the Olympic Games in 2024. We have seven years to work and in just one summer we have already qualified to the Final Four.”