Australia will host Colombia, Cuba and Croatia in the opening weekend
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 30, 2016 – Australia will be hosting a round of FIVB World Grand Prix matches this weekend in the Australian town of Bendingo.
The 2016 edition of the annual competition begins this week, with Bendigo Stadium hosting the Group 3 round featuring Australia, Colombia, Cuba and Croatia.
The Preliminary Round matches in Group 3 are held over two weeks, with the finals to be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from June 18.
Croatia enters the group as the prohibitive favourite after being relegated from Group 2 last year, but will face no shortage in competition from the Australians on home soil.
The two countries played a warm-up game in Dandenong on Friday night, with the Croatians sealing a 3-1 win.
Australian coach Shannon Winzer was happy with her team’s performance, and said she expects the side to be firing when it hits Bendigo.
“The best thing was we were able to come back,” she said. “We were down against a top side and we kept fighting and fighting. We never gave up and I think there were some good things there.”
“I just want us to get better every single time we play and every single time we train. If we do that, by the time we get to the World Grand Prix, I think we’ll be ready for some of these teams.”
Australia arrives in Bendigo on Wednesday ahead of Friday’s first game against Colombia, and the Volleyroos are raring to go.
“We have been training for a long time and have been together for at least a week, so we are looking forward to getting up there and getting started,” Winzer said.
All four teams and officials will be welcomed to the city at a civic reception on Thursday at the Bendigo Town Hall.