The Australian women’s volleyball team lost all six games during its World Grand Prix debut, but won some respect in the process.
The side that included former Bendigo outside hitter Eliza Karley Hynes saved their best for the last match against Kenya last Sunday.
The Aussies served it up to their opponents in Croatia before going down in a hard-fought five-setter, 17-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-22, 11-15.
A day earlier, they won their first Grand Prix set against the home nation before eventually losing 3-1.
Hynes also played for Australia against Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic during the tournament.
While they were well beaten, they were certainly not disgraced.
All their rivals were ranked between 13 and 35 in the world, while the "Volleyroos” sat at number 100 on the international table.
“It was great for the players to see that they are able to compete with these teams,” coach Mark Barnard said.
“And after a three-week tour, to continually get a little bit better has been a pleasant surprise.”
Hynes has also represented Australia at beach volleyball.