BEIJING, 9 August - Italy crushed Russia and clinched their first win in Pool B of the Women's Volleyball tournament 3-1 (25-20,17-25, 25-16, 25-23) at the Beijing Institute of Technology Gymnasium on Saturday.
Italy started well, going into the first technical timeout 8-5. Russian Coach Giovanni CAPRARA (ITA) tried to change the momentum taking timeouts, but the Italians kept their lead throughout, taking the first set 25-20.
Russia woke up in the second set, leaping out to a 16-9 lead. Against the taller Russians, Italy started to flounder at the net and the closest they could get was 20-16, with the Russians eventually closing out the set 25-17.
In the third set, Italy abandoned their usual attacking combinations by executing more outside and back row attacks. Russia tried to shift the Italians' attacking pace by substituting their setter with SHESHENINA Marina (RUS) but to no avail, with Italy running away with the third set 25-16.
The fourth set was a very close affair, with Russia taking the lead early, up 8-6 into the first technical time-out. The lead changed a number of times, but no team managed to break away, with service and blocking mistakes finally being a death knell for the Russians, with Italy wrapping up the set 25-23 to take the match 3-1.