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