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World League 2002 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Italy beat China 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-21) - duration 1:41
12-Jul, start time: 19:04, end time: 20:45 - Attendance: 3,300
Italy regroups to defeat China and maintain inbroken record
Despite a shaky start, Italy regrouped to dispatch China 3-1 at home on Friday to retain their unbroken run of 5 victories in the 2002 World league Intercontinental Rounds.
In the early stages, China was quick to capitalize on some defensive errors by the opposition. Italy also experienced serving problems and when they were trailing 9-14, Coach Anastasi changed Casoli with Andrea Giani. The situation did not improve and China took the first set easily 25-20, ringing alarm bells for the home side.
Those waiting for an immediate comeback by the Mighty Blues were disappointed. The Chinese team continued to play well and with few errors. The tide turned when the Italian block improved, but Lu Fei played a good series of winning services, to put the Asian team in front 18 - 16. Looking at a possible 0-2 deficit, Italy regrouped, especially thanks to Giani's powerful services and to the experience of the captain Gravina and went on to win the second set by just two points. 25 - 23. Then led by Alessandro Fei, moved to the diagonal, then went on to easily win the third and fourth sets in a match that lasted one hour 41 minutes, played on a typical hot Italian summer day. Italy thus retained their unbroken record so far in the 2002 series. Best players for the Italians were Alessandro Fei, Giani and Gravina, while the best Chinese players were Lu and He.
/mh