Emanuele Biravell (ITA) celebrates one point
Beijing, August 10, 2008 -- Italy survived a third-set blip to comfortably beat japan 3-1 (25-19, 25-18, 23-25, 25-17) at the BIT Gymnasium on Sunday.
Italy began with a series of quick attacks from Luigi Mastrangelo of Italy, as crucial service errors cost the Japanese when they had opportunities to get back in the set.
Takahiro Yamamoto of Japan threatened with back-row spikes from the left but Italy continued to play an offensive game led by Alberto Cisolla of Italy
The Italians took A two-set lead but seemed to relax inthe third set, giving more opportunities to Japan.
Head coach Tatsuya Ueta of Japan substituted his key player Yamamoto for Kunihiro Shimizu. That tactical change revitatised Japan as they began to block better and mount faster attackss. They seized the chance to win a tight third set 25-23.
In the vital fourth set, Italy strengthened their blocking to hinder the quick spikes from Japan. The japanese struggled to cope with Cisolla's thunderous attacks from the right, combined with the attacking of Alessandro Fei of Italy on the left.
Ueta made more substitutions inan attempt to change the flow of the game but Jpan could not keep upwith the Italians and lost more points through errors. The Europeans clinched the set 25-144 to complete a 3-1 win.