FIVB - Women's Volleyball World Cup 2011

MATCH INFO

Gioli leads Italian block party against the Dominican Republic


Prisilla Altagracia Rivera Brens had a tough time breaking through Italy's defence with Lucia Bosetti and Simona Gioli particularly effective

Hiroshima, Japan, November 6, 2011 - Defending World Cup champions Italy continued their impressive start to the 2011 edition with a convincing straight sets (28-26, 25-13, 25-12) win against the Dominican Republic on Sunday in Hiroshima to record their third win from as many matches  after beating Japan and China on the first two days of play.

Sunday’s match pitted the tournament’s top two scorers against each other in Carolina del Pilar Costagrande for Italy (45 points) and Bethania De La Cruz de Peña for the Dominicans (40) but this contest would see another star rise above the rest as Simona Gioli, the Most Valuable Player at the 2007 World Cup, was awarded the Most Impressive Player for the match with 15 points, including five of her team’s 11 blocks. Lucia Bosetti and Costagrande supported with 14 and 13 respectively. For the Dominican Republic, Prisilla Altagracia Rivera Brens and De La Cruz had 13 and 10 respectively.

The first set saw Costagrande came out firing with three spikes early, but Rivera who countered for the Dominicans with three of her own as her side took a surprising early edge 8-6. But Italy, ranked seventh in the world, and the Dominican Republic, ranked 14th, were neck-and-neck for the rest of the set as neither were further than two points of each other until the end. The Dominicans valiantly fought off three set points before a stunning Gioli block on Rivera fell behind all Dominican defenders to give Italy the set 28-26.

Italy looked more like their old selves to start the second set, with Gioli, the third oldest player in the tournament, again frustrating Rivera at the net, and Costagrande knocking over Carmen Rosa Caso Sierra with a drive to put them up five. Gioli continued her stalwart defence at the net, and when Rivera shifted her attack she was stuffed by Italian captain Eleonora Lo Bianco, the most experienced player in the tournament with 501 caps, to make it 21-11. On Italy’s set point Rivera lost control of her serve, sailing it long past the baseline.

In the third set, the Italians continued on with more great play at the net from Gioli, putting her side well ahead 13-4 with a cheeky tap down at the net. Lo Bianco was literally head-over-heels today, tumbling over on a spectacular dig that set up a Costagrande spike to make it 20-12 before the 2009 Grand Champions Cup champions closed it out easily with five straight points.

Women’s World Cup Results/Standings, Match Info, Photos or Live Scoring


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