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Italy keeps Belgrade dream alive with sweep over Dutch

Cristian Savani, attacking master

Modena, Italy, July 5, 2009 - Italy is still dreaming for a place in the Final Round of the 2009 World League finals in Belgrade after beating the Netherlands in straight sets for the fourth time in a row. 

A sold out Palapanini in Modena saw a very clear success for the Italians: 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-23) after a match dominated from the very beginning by Andrea Anastasi’s team. Captain Matej Cernic led the team by the example finding the confirmation of the great quality Michal Lasko, Dragan Travica and Cristian Savani put in the game. 

The Azzurri began the match with a imperious start that gave the azzurri the lead with some very effective attacking option by Cristian Savani and Michal Lasko. Influenced by a great defense as well, that break gave Anastasi’s team to clinch ahead (8-5) the first TTO. Back in the game, Italy pressed Netherlands in attack increasing the advantage with a solid attacking presence by Cristian Savani. An ace by Kooistra gave guest  team the illusion for a comeback but Andrea Sala and a winning block put Italy in the solid base to close ahead also at the second technical suspension. It was a solid Italy, playing with confidence despite some serving mistakes. With 16-15 on the score, Trommel “hands-out” equalize the score before Savani and Lasko put back the usual margin. A block by Bontjie close the doors to the Italian side that close the set 25-23 after another Netherlands serving mistakes.
In the second set Netherlands took the first advantage of the match but the Azzurri came back immediately after with some quality attacks that led them straight ahead at the second technical time-out.  Some authentic gift Netherland conceded to the Italian team gave Anastasi’s boys to stay in control while a couple of Netherlands attack put the game back still in doubt. An imperious block by Lasko put the azzurri 2 points ahead just before the second TTO. Italy managed the final part of the second set with a great defence and an inspired Dragan Travica  who served a series of occasions for the Italian attacking terminal Savani and Lasko. Captain Matej Cernic put the seal (25-20) for the 11 consecutive set won by the Italians against Peter Blangè team.
After the initial Netherlands advantage Italy came in control of the game with an hat trick by Dragan Travica and a great block by Michal Lasko. A winning series by Peter Blangè team gave another advantage to the guests but a naïve mistake by Trommel put Italy ahead again at the first TTO. Lasko efficiency rate in blocking, Netherlands mistakes in building clear attacking quality became the base to build the success, even after a couple of spikes Savani sent out. Cernic was outstanding in converting in gold some dirty balls before Birarelli sent his team ahead (16-15) at the second TTO. Cernic again took his team on the runaway with Netherlands in confusion. With 19-15 on the score, Blangè was forced to call a desperate time-out. Last ace by Klapwijk Niels was the last hope for the “Orange” with a disputed ball that gave the opportunity to equalize. But the last two balls were crucial and essential to close the match with a great block by Birarelli.
 

  

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