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Italy cruises past Turkey to take fifth in World Championships

Italy celebrate their fifth-placed finish at the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championship

Tokyo, Japan, November 14, 2010 – Italy beat a spirited Turkey side in straight sets (25-23, 25-20, 25-21) at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Sunday to secure fifth place at the FIVB Women's World Championship.

Leading the scoring for Italy was Serena Ortolani who posted 17 points, while Simona Gioli contributed 13 of her own, including four blocks, and Antonella Del Core chipped in 10. Neslihan Darnel continued her scoring feats by posting 17 for Turkey. 

Turkey gained an early four-point lead in the first set but Gioli then threw down a trio of spikes to bring Italy level at 7-7. Ortolani came on strong for the Italians with a flurry of attacks that helped them edge out to 18-14 and although Darnel brought Turkey back to 23-23 with a long spike that the Italy defence should have let go, Italy eventually took the set 25-23 on an errant drive by Neriman Ozsoy.

Turkey again held a slight edge early in the second, but Italy responded with Del Core pushing her team 12-9 ahead with a clever tip at the net followed by a spike out wide. An Ortolani spike put Italy up by seven points at 22-15, this despite the best efforts of Darnel, who scored seven points in the set, to keep it close. Italy closed out the set 25-20 on a Gioli spike off a set from Eleonora Lo Bianco.

Italy raced into a 9-3 lead in the third set on a cheeky tip by Gioli followed by a tremendous Francesca Piccinini kill. Italy maintained their lead comfortably up to the Second Technical Timeout (STT) when Ortolani dropped a bomb down the centre of the Turkish defence to make it 16-9. Darnel and Bahar Toksoy showed spirit with some late attacks for Turkey, but Italy had too much for them on the day and, fittingly, took the set and the match on a Ortolani spike, 25-21.

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