Italy ended the weekend at the top of Pool D as they look to solidify their place at the top of world volleyball and improve on their fourth-place finish at the FIVB Men’s World Championship last year.
The first set saw the home side come out strong as they improved on reception and serve. However, despite the best efforts of new libero Jenia Grebennikov, unforced errors marred their progress as three aces from Dragan Travica helped the visitors take an early lead.
Guillaume Samica’s introduction rejuvenated France in the second set as the home side came bouncing back to challenge their European rivals. However, no amount of enthusiasm could halt the Italians, who quickly halted the onslaught with their precise blocking and, despite an incredibly tight frame, captured a 2-0 lead.
Italian captain Mauro Berruto helped his side continue the assault in the third as they took the lead at the first technical time out while France’s Pierre Pujol tried to stabilize the home side with some effective spikes. However, it was too little too late as Italy finished off the weekend with a determined victory over their Gaelic cousins.
Italy will host Cuba next week as France face Korea.