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Volleyroos keep Rio dream alive

  • Volleyroos keep Rio dream alive

    The Australian men's volleyball team have beaten China at the Rio Olympics qualification tournament.

The Australian men's volleyball team are still in the hunt for a Rio Olympics berth after beating rivals China 3-1 at the final qualification tournament in Japan.

The Volleyroos need to finish top four to book a spot in Rio and leapfrog the Chinese with Saturday's victory.

However, they still must beat ladder leaders Poland on Sunday, with their position also dependent on other results.

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In Australia's favour is that Poland have already secured their Olympic spot so have less to play for, while the Volleyroos have also managed the feat before, beating Poland at the 2012 Olympics.

After losing their opening match against Iran and dropping a tough five-setter against Canada, the Australians have played some of their best volleyball, beating Japan 3-0 and following up with the win over China.

Australia made a bright start against China, taking the first two sets thanks to some impressive play by captain Tom Edgar, libero Luke Perry and veteran Nathan Roberts.

But China, helped by careless Australian errors, lifted in the third set, presenting nervous moments for Australian coach Roberto Santilli.

The Volleyroos could not afford to allow the match to go to five sets, as that would only give the winner two points for the win rather than three.

At 8-8 in the fourth set, Santilli put Edgar on the bench and brought Paul Carroll into the game, the risky move paying immediate dividends as Australia took control.

But China again fought back, managed to get their noses in front and looked to have momentum before Australian young guns Max Staples and Nehemiah Mote came up with important points to see Australia home.

"Our Olympic dream is still in our hands," said Edgar, who finished with a game-high 21 points.

China and Canada, who are also still vying for fourth place and the Rio spot, face off on Sunday.

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