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Two five-set thrillers see Italy & Poland take the spoils

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 17, 2005 – Round Four of the 2005 World League Intercontinental Round started in unbelievable style with two matches going the distance on Friday. In Pool B Italy beat France 3-2 (19-25, 18-25, 26-24, 25-17, 15-13) in Grenoble while in Athens, Poland increased their lead at the top of Pool C with a 3-2 (19-25, 25-21, 25-18, 18-25, 15-13) win over Greece in Athens.

In astonishing circumstances in Grenoble, the home side let slip a 2-0 lead to see last year’s World League runner’s up Italy claw their way back to snatch a remarkable victory.
Pic: Gérald Hardy Dessources on attack for France
“The players lost the first two sets because they were waiting for something,” Italy coach Gian Paolo Montali said. “The substitutes were very efficient and setter and captain Valerio Vermiglio was very important tonight. He managed to move the team forwards.”

The loss could be a crucial one for France as they now sit in third place in Pool B with three wins and four defeats, with Italy now in first place with a 4-3 record while Cuba, who have a gale in hand and play Bulgaria this weekend, are second with a 4-2 record.

Meanwhile, in Pool C, Poland’s remarkable run continues with their sixth win in seven matches to go three wins clear of Greece. It was another impressive performance from the Poles as they handed Greece their fourth defeat in seven matches.

Despite a 20-point effort from Tontor-Zlatko Baev, Greece couldn’t counter Poland’s exceptionally strong service game, which earned them nine points. The Poles also out blocked Greece, much to the delight of their supporters from the large Polish community in Athens, who vastly outnumbered the Greek fans.
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