Florence, Italy, June 20, 2010 - Italy reversed Friday's 3-2 defeat at the hands of Serbia and beat the Pool B leaders in another five-set thriller (21-25, 25-20, 25-18, 20-25, 15-13) thanks to an outstanding 29 points from Michal Lasko in Florence on Sunday, to move to one point behind Serbia at the top of the group.
Serbia, last year's runners-up, stay on the top of Pool B with five wins and one defeat, the same record of Italy who much now play the remaining three weekends of the Intercontinental Round away.
In the first set both teams, using similar lineups from Friday's match, went point to point until 9-9, then Serbia took a slight lead thanks to Italy’s mistakes especially in attack. Serbia maintained the lead helped by the good performance of Sasa Starovic (six points in the set) – top scorer of the match in Montecatini – and closed the first set 25-21 despite Simone Parodi trying to recover the match with a great serve.
The second set began as the first one and Italy and Serbia fought point by point. In the second part of the set Italy kept the lead despite making many mistakes with their serve before finding the right rhythm to pick up the set 25-20.
Italy preserved the concentration during the third set before taking a lead thanks to some excellent defence, notably from Lasko, who scored the decisive point in the set, which finished 25-17 for Italy.
However, the 2009 silver medallists are made of strong stuff and didn't lie down. The fourth set was very tight but Serbia took the honours 25-20 to take it to a tie-breaker.
Italy went ahead 5-2 before the team of Igor Kolakovic fought back. It was only at the end when Italy got ahead to win the set and the match. Top scorer of the Serbian team has been again Sasa Starovic scoring 26 points.