FLORENCE, Italy - Australia have fallen to the United States in the first match of their volleyball World League finals campaign in Florence, Italy.
The Volleyroos started strongly, winning the first set 25-22 and gaining an early lead in the second on yesterday morning.
But the Americans went on to dominate and claim three straight sets 25-18 25-23 25-18.
Tom Edgar was Australia's main points winner with 20 for the match, bagging nine of them in the dominant first set.
Skipper Aidan Zingel admitted his side struggled to deal with their opponent's serve and the lack of atmosphere, after last week enjoying record crowds for their qualifying matches at Sydney Olympic Park.
"We've had a 30-hour travel, it's a different atmosphere, a lot of these people don't know any of our players, we have to bring it ourselves, and it's tough," said Zingel.
"This is World League finals, and I honestly expected more people and I expected more hype.
"It was all about us creating the energy instead of us driving off the energy created by the crowd.
"We came out aggressive, we came out strong, we played out volleyball really well, but then we slipped off a bit."
The men's team must now beat host nation Italy who beat the US 3-0 on the opening night to have any hope of progressing to the weekend's finals.