Destinee Hooker top-scored for USA with 18 points, followed by Foluke Akinradewo with 14 and Logan Tom with 13. The top scorer for Italy was Simona Gioli with 14 points, while Lucia Bosetti and Antonella del Core each had 10. The Americans outblocked Italy 12-4 and outserved them 8-0.
2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand
The first set was a close contest between two of the strongest national teams in the world. Both sides smashed through their opponents’ blocks and beat their defences with sheer pace and power. Serving and spiking errors by USA enabled Italy to take the lead, but the Americans quickly regained their momentum and leveled off at 15-15 after a destructive spike by Tom. A strategic timeout by USA proved effective as the American girls took four consecutive points and stayed ahead to the end.
Knowing the second set would be as tough as the previous one, both teams started aggressively. Bullet spikes by Destinee Hooker enabled USA to lead 8-5 at the first TTO. The Italian girls fought back with a series of aggressive attacks and solid defence, tying the scores at 13-13. But when USA gained five consecutive points with some powerful attacks, Italy called for their second timeout at 21-15. USA continued to dominate at the net and finally seized the set at 25-19.
USA opened the third set with two beautiful aces. Facing strong American attacks, the Italians consolidated their defence line in the third set. The see-saw situation between the two teams continued all the way to the first TTO. The Americans took advantage of the Italians' errors in receiving and attacking and managed to widen the score to 14-9. Although the Italians adopted quicker attacks, it was too late to stop the Americans from claiming victory.
The USA will play Peru and Italy will take on Germany on Sunday.