London 2012

Press release

"The whole team performed brilliantly” says Italian captain Cristian Savani after fabulous game with USA


Italy captain Cristian Savani was the real match winner for his side with a terrific tally of 19 points in the three sets played with USA

London, Great Britain, August 8, 2012 – Italy played a superb match on Wednesday to down the 2008 Olympic champions of USA and qualify for the semis to play there Brazil. “Everything went well, and after five matches the whole team performed brilliantly” says a happy captain Cristian Savani. “Something clicked eventually, something I had been talking about over the last week. I won’t tell what we did to prepare this match - nothing strange, but I promise I will reveal (it to) you at the end (of the Olympic Games). We played well, and when we play like this, anyone struggles to beat us. We also had a lot of fun - we enjoyed the match so much today. We played with courage and I am happy because we showed what Italy is. I would have been sad to go out in the quarterfinals because of all the good work and preparation we have done over the last months” he adds. “This win gives us more strength because after the last match we were so disappointed to have lost it”.

“We are happy. There is not much else to say. I am glad that we could react to the difficulties we had. And just when we were really down and had lost confidence (in the previous matches), we were able to take out our best. (Today) we played an extraordinary match, in all roles. Nobody would have bet on us today” adds opposite Michal Lasko. “Today our extraordinary service came back, and with that it is easy to play”.

“They played great and found their rhythm. They turned it up a notch and we turned it down. We worked four years for this, it’s kinda tough. We got taken advantage of and we let them back into the game because we thought we played a good game in the first set” says US American captain Clayton Stanley. “We weren’t as crisp as we were throughout the pool. We’ve got a lot of work to do, this is a growing experience”.

“It is a very difficult time. We knew it would be a tough match against great serves and hitters. It was a tough first set where we did have some chances. But then we didn’t respond well in the second set” points out US coach Alan Knipe. “It becomes predictable if we’re not able to keep our passing enough to be unpredictable. It was very disappointing knowing that we will not be playing for a medal. I thought it came down to execution and the Italian team were better at that. Still the big picture is very bright. We have a very good group of young players playing in the US right now”. 
 

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