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China exacts revenge with 3-0 win over Italy

Italians experience Chinese nightmare

Verona, Italy, June 13, 2009 - China showed another side of their team by beating Italy in straight sets Saturday at the Palaolimpia following a crushing loss to the hosts on Friday.

The Italian success in the opening game of the Verona series was history by Saturday, when China put in an extraordinary performance against an Italian side that suffered in receiving and lacked confidence. 

A highly motivated Chinese team started the second match leading comfortably until the first TTO, with Italy slow to enter the match. The Chinese block complicated Italian's comeback attempt, as Jianan's maintained its lead until the second technical time-out. Anastasi tried to change the setup of the Italian team, introducing Matej Cernic from the bench, but some receiving mistakes gave China the green light to continue racking up the score.

The first Italian lead came at the beginning of the second set, when they enjoyed a two-point advantage, 8-6 at the first technical time out. By this time, however, the visitors had shown a remarkable improvement in receiving and defense from a day earlier. Italy went into the second TTO at 16-13 after conceding a couple of unforced errors, but soon opened up a 4-point lead (19-15) before some perfect receiving from China brought the visitors to within one point. Savani attempted to pick his team up with a couple of very effective spikes but an error in attack put China ahead and they clinched the second set 25-23.

The third frame started with a series of winning services by Sala, which forced Zhou to call an immediate timeout. The Azzurri closed out the first TTO at 8-3 before a much more efficient block gave the Italians an 8-points advantage. Loris ManiĆ  had to leave the match after a ball injured him in the nose. Andrea Bari came in for ManiĆ  and Italy stayed 7 points ahead with Anastasi substituting Martino for captain Cernic. But the visitors stormed back to make it 19-18 and some bad receiving by Martino put China ahead again late in the set. Finally, on the fifth match ball, a great service gave China a well-deserved win on Italian soil.



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