Gallant Helloworld Travel Volleyroos lose Grand Prix final to impressive Hungarians

The Australian women’s volleyball team has been beaten 3-0 by Hungary in the Group 3 final of the World Grand Prix in Canberra.

The Hungarians went into the final as the short-priced favourites, having not lost a match in the 2017 season and having won the last women’s European title, and showed their class with a 25-18, 25-17, 25-20 win in front of a big Australian crowd.

The Australians won their first ever Grand Prix match this year, and earned their place in the gold medal match after the non-appearance of Venezuela. They were the only team to take a set off the Hungarians in the preliminary rounds.

But coach Shannon Winzer said Hungary were too strong.

“This wasn’t our best game,” Winzer said.

“I think we could have played a lot better than we played today. Hungary were very strong. They are a very frustrating team to attack against because play excellent defence and they attack very well.”

The Helloworld Travel Volleyroos showed plenty of fight in each set of the match, but captain Beth Carey said the quiet moments were costly.

“We just need to find that consistency,” Carey said.

“We played really well in parts, but we had lapses and that’s when Hungary took advantage.”

Despite the result Carey said the Australians are improving all the time.

“An opportunity like this does not come often,” she said.

“I’ve been part of this team for such a long time, and this is the first time I’ve been playing in a gold medal match.

“I tell the girls often to feel the pride. We are playing for Australia and not many people get the chance to do that.”

The bronze medal went to France, with Venezuela a no-show for the weekend.