Short characterization ITA
STARTING PLAYERS AND SUBSTITUTES
As defending champion, ITA brought back experienced veterans, like players 3 Togut und 2 Rinieri (average age 25.4 years). The defeats against SCG – in particular the match for place 3 – have certainly been a big disappointment for them. The team was without any chance in the semi-final against RUS. Nevertheless it is a balanced team with physically strong and tactically experienced players (however, average body height below 185 cm). ITA often (and as planned) used back up players; however, above all in the final, they did not find the optimal formation for winning a medal.
The Italian players used a variable mixture of current serving techniques with excellent tactical adaptation (preparation of block and court defence situation). There was a flexible variation of serving positions. Players hitting jump serves alternatively used floats distance.
With the main passers players 2 Rinieri and 12 Piccinini (players ranking: place 5) and a great libero (player 17 Cardullo) the team showed decent passing performances (59% excellent / 4 % errors).
The experienced setter 14 Lo Bianco played reliably as she used to, with precise sets at variable speed and clever distribution of sets. So, an efficient use of all options could be realized. Her sets off the most variable playing positions were soft and smooth. She is very open for the right tactics in the crucial moment (under pressure) and she is also very good at digging.
With typical 5-1 reception formation simple attacking patterns with few variants are realized. Opposite hitter player 3 is obviously go-to player for ITA but using all options effectively is their aim. Organizing the attack behind the setter is one of their particular strengths. Attacks of diagonal sets from the outside positions are often finalized off extremely high sets (also digging set). Behind CUB, ITA was the second best team in the ranking “attack” (49% success, 13% errors). It was their only place among the first in the team ranking of all skills.
The organisation of block - backcourt defence is realized in direct connection with the serving tactics. They give signs (showing the block position by an outside player). When the relatively small setter stands at the net they use special variants of blocking. Court defence acts clearly and with quick reactions (libero, setter).