Italy celebrates victory
Hong Kong, June 27, 2008 - World No. 2 team Italy beat Japan in straight sets 3-0 in the FIVB World Grand Prix at the Hong Kong Coliseum on Friday.
Italy maintained their excellent performance in both attack and defence and won by 25:17, 25:20 and 25:17.
Although facing the world No. 2 team Italy, the Japan team did not let their opponent dominate the game. The first set started with a see-saw condition. However, after the second technical timeout, the Italian team kept on gaining points by their strong attacks mainly by Simona Gioli and Martina Guiggi. The Italian's solid defence at the net widened the gap between the two teams after the second technical timeout. Manuela Secolo's attack ended the set by 25:17.
The first set's failure did not devastate Japan's confidence. In set 2, the two teams played point by point again. However, by the second technical timeout, the team led their opponent by 16:13 despite powerful attacks of Japanese players Erika Araki and Miyuki Takahashi. Growing pressure towards the end of set 2 caused the Japan team made a few mistakes and ended the set by 25:20.
In set 3, the Italian girls continued their aggressive attacks, whereas the Japanese girls kept on making errors in serving. Yet, after a timeout called by Japan, the Japanese girls began to demonstrated their excellent teamwork again. After being behind for the first time in the game, the Italian Team quickly regained their pace and showed their supremacy in attacks, blocks and defences. They finally won the match with the third set by 25:17.