The Italian women's
Volleyball team heads into the 2003 World Cup on the
back of a disappointing display at the 2003 World
Grand Prix on their home turf.
triumph at the 2002 World Championship, big things
were expected from this entertaining side but all they
could return was three wins from 10 matches.
Having often been the subject of comparison with their
male counterparts, the Italian women's team finally won
an international tournament in 2002, having lost the final of the
European Championship to Russia in 2001. It was a
memorable performance and had finally put them on the
map of genuine international contenders.
But this year's World Grand Prix was a blip in the process
of feeding on their World Championship success and now after
receiving a wild card, the "Azzurre" have
the opportunity to make amends.
women's team, ranked sixth in the world, have all the
qualities. The Most Valuable Player at the
World Championship and one of Italy's tallest players
Elisa Togut is on her way back with her 192cm
frame set to cause havoc while the rest of the squad compliment each
other with passion, drive and a sure-fire spirit which
resembles the "Azzuri".
Volleyball is the most practiced women's sport in
Italy and has received the backing of the national
federation with over 100,000 registered players but it
is only now that Italian women's volleyball is finally
seeing the hard work bear fruit.
The 2003 World Cup can be another performance in which
to measure their progress towards the 2004 Olympics.