Team GB captain focuses on positives

28 July 2012 / 18:13

Great Britain's fearless attitude contributed to their downfall against Russia at Earls Court, according to women's volleyball captain Lynne Beattie.

Faced with the unenviable task of facing the world champions on their Games debut, the host nation opted for an all-action approach that very nearly earned them the first set.

Unforced errors and a brutal Russian front row undid them, though, with Sergey Ovchinnikov's players securing a 25-19 25-10 25-16 victory.

In Ekaterina Gamova Russia have the tournament's joint-tallest player, and with winners coming out wide from over 12 feet from the hands of Nataliya Goncharova, the gap between the two was too wide for Great Britain to bridge.

A rack of service errors did not help them either, however, but Beattie admitted afterwards that they had to take an all-or-nothing approach if they were to get anything out of the game.

"The errors, in particular when we served long, were crucial," she said. "We weren't holding back, we can't beat a team like Russia by serving easy. Yes you take a risk, you give them a point, and on several occasions we did that at crucial times, but we had to go for it."

She added: "They're world champions, we knew that, but we came out to win the game. We took them by surprise which is what our aim was. We stuck with them for 16, 17 points, but then their experience was that bit more at the end of the set."

Beattie's team-mate Ciara Michel - who at 6ft 4in was her side's only answer to Russia's size - also conceded that their all-guns-blazing style had left them open.

"They were jumping at 12 feet, it is hard to navigate around that," she said. "So you have to try different tactics. Even then it's hard."