Hiroshima, Japan, September 12, 2015 – Thomas Edgar put on the performance of a lifetime scoring 50 points
, including 47 spikes, for Australia as they edged past Egypt in five sets (23-25, 26-24, 25-23, 20-25, 15-13) to pick up their first win of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup Japan 2015.
Edgar’s performance was even more astonishing considering he had to be substituted midway through the third set due to a cut to his hand. Egypt were led by Ahmed Abdelhay on 30 points.
Australia’s serve reception had been an area of weakness in previous matches but they seemed to have fixed the problem early in the game, staying in touch with their Egyptian counterparts. However they failed to take command as Egypt went 22-20 up. The Volleyroos dug deep but it wasn’t to be as Egypt converted match point.
Edgar continued to be the lead performer in the second for Australia, the captain helping carry his side to an 8-4 lead at the first technical timeout. But a good run of serves saw Egypt inch closer and they once again regained the lead at 15-13. Australia shifted ahead, but lost control after a crucial challenge call went against them on block touch. Another Edgar spike saw the lead change hands once again and suddenly Australia found themselves with a match point. They were not to be denied as Edgar put in a monster block, his second of the game, to draw things level.
It remained tight during the first half of the third, neither team giving an inch. Australia made a small breakthrough ahead of the second technical timeout, edging ahead at 16-14. The world No.13 extended that lead to 23-20 with Egypt failing to manage Edgar’s spikes. He continued to rain down attacks on Egypt and duly converted set point to the elation of the bench.
Egypt came out fired up for the fourth and they took a commanding 8-4 lead. There were some worried faces on the Australian bench when Edgar injured his hand as the side looked to reel in Egypt. However the captain returned shortly after and helped his side come to within a point at 14-13. Egypt surged ahead though, reaching 22-18 as the match looked to be going to a fifth set. Mamdouh Abdelrehim made that fact a reality as the match moved to fifth set roulette.
Australia, who were winless coming into the match, burst out of the gate in the fifth, earning a 6-2 lead. Travis Passier scored an ace after some poor communication by Egypt as the wheels looked to be falling off at 9-5. With every set going to Edgar the Aussies edged to match point. They duly converted to claim their first win of the tournament.