Short characterization ITALY





2000 - 2008


OG 2000






WCH 2002



RONDON, Giulia


DI IULIO, Chiara

WC 2003






OG 2004



PICCININI, Francesca



WCH 2006



LO BIANCO, Eleonora


DEL CORE, Antonella

WC 2007





GIOLI, Simona

OG 2008




General remarks

·         Rank 5 (as in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics) certainly does not represent the aspirations of Italian volleyball as it is a rank among the runner-ups between rank 5-12 composed of teams (in most cases European teams) with a level of performance that is very similar.

·         The team was defeated three times (- BRA 0:3, - CZE 2:3, - CUB 2:3) and had to struggle hard to beat the Netherlands 3:2. These results and the overall performance are an indication for the required performance enhancement, if the team wants to reach future top- ranks, especially with respect the the 2012 Olympic Games.  

·         The team is a mixture of experienced players (WCh 2006: 4, OG 2008: 6) and eight players who played their first World Championship (in the majority born 1986 or before); with the exception of a blockplayer (no.13 Arrighetti) during the whole tournament with the same experienced players in the starting line-up.

·         Change of functions of attackers (opposite or receiver/attacker) and positions (quick attacker - attacker) in the starting lineups.

·         Highly organized play, supported by the systematic application of modern computer based scouting information.

·         The mean age was relatively high (26,7 years);the team had an average body height of 183 cm (without libero) what is in the medium range of all teams, but significantly lower than the values for RUS/BRA/USA.



·         The team exclusively applied jumpfloats and standingfloats directly behind the groundline and with a certain distance to the groundline. Application of several servicepositions, a systematic servicestrategy was hardly to be seen. 

·         Stable services (6% errors), which only slightly affected the build-up of the opposing teams’ attacks (5% aces).



·         ITA did neither adapt servereception to the kind of service of the opposing teams, nor to its own rotation nor to the serviceposition of the opponent – the team constantly player with a 3-player receptionformation.

·         Servicereception almost exclusively by the libero (no.10 Cardullo), the diagonalplayer Piccinini (no. 12) and the attacker Del Core (no. 15) – Rank 2 in players’ ranking with 57 % excellent actions.  

·         The number of Cardullo’s actions (135) was significantly lower than for the attackers (268 res. 213). With her efficient play (anticipation and serve reception position) she gives a very good example – technically (with her lateral reception) and with respect to the level of performance (with 59 % successful actions and 5 % errors) - for the play of a libero.


Set / Attack - Complex I and Complex II

·         In complex I the team had a relation between quick attackingcombinations and high attacks of 3:1, in complex II the relation was just vice versa 1:3. The attacking performance corresponds to the mean value of the best 12 teams (43% + / 14% -)

·         The high attackingactions in C I and C II are prepared by efficient, calm and clear high passes. Underhand sets are relatively often applied.

·         Quick attacks are often played as effective attacks with single-leg take-offs and changing attackpositions behind the setter (perfect interaction of Lo Bianco and Gioli). 1st tempo-attacks from pos. III were rare, but successful (no.13).

·         The team played with almost no backcourt attacks, in case of such attacks in most cases not integrated into attackingcombinations.  

·         As in previous major tournaments the experienced players Piccinini (12), Del Core (15), Gioli (17) were responsible to arrange attacks – dominating in quick attacks, supplemented by the young Ortolani (11).

·         Technically variable attacks from pos. IV with stress on frontal diagonal attack and conscious strike towards the block; on pos. II the team played effectively with rotation spikes and hidden diagonal attacks, in case of sets close to the antenna long line attacks were applied as well as spikes towards the outside of the blocks.


Block / Defense            

·         The team showed a successful blockplay with a level of performance that was similar to the USA and JPN (17% kill blocks / 30% errors), but 4% less kills than RUS and BRA.

·         There was a trend that 2-players’ blocks and one-player blocks on pos.2 were more successful than on pos.4. On pos.3 the team played almost exclusively with the one-player block with good adaptation of the position and a very offensive arm work above the net.  Very good interaction between the blockplayers and the players on the outsidepositions (adaptation of the position of the outsideplayers, footwork to the right and to the left, in most cases running step - closing step, well coordinated offensive blockingactions).

·         Disciplined cooperation between block and fielddefense, good anticipation of the final defenseposition as well as respectable skills in defensetechniques that were adapted to the individual situation represented the basis for a very good defense performance (3rd in team ranking).

·         It is worth mentioning the defense techniques close to the body: Optimum cooperation between technique, position on the field, bodyposition and fighting spirit/effort. The libero was always playing on pos. 5 with major direction of her actions towards pos. 6.