Jiangning, China, July 17th, 2009 – Over 4,260 spectators watched a highly motivated Italy crush China in straight sets 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-17) Friday at the Gymnasium of Jiangning Sports Center.
The success on Friday is the perfect start for Italy this weekend as they are only 1 point behind U.S.A in pool A of FIVB World League 2009. With a record of 7-4 in the pool, they are still grapping the destiny at hand to be qualified for the final round in Belgrade, Serbia.
It was a well-deserved success for Italy, built on the perfect blocking system that China could not compete against. The decisive 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-17) victory confirmed the quality of Anastasi’s side and proved Italian team is on the right track heading for London Olympic Games. While China was not at the best level, Team Italy nevertheless offered a very positive performance in front of enthusiastic Chinese crowd.
Savani Cristian scored 12 points, the best in Team Italy while Fortunato Francesco added another 6 points by block. Cui Jianjun was the best scorer for China, scoring 17 points including 11 kills, 3 aces and 3 blocks. Italy showed dominance at the net with 18 points of the perfect blocking system while China scored only 5 points in this field. China also added 22 errors to the scoresheet, setting an sound basis for the victory of Italy.
The highly motivated Team Italy came out strong in the first set and led 8-5 at the first Technical Timeout (TTO). China was trying hard to come back with two serving aces and 3 kills from Cui Jianjun, reaching the second TTO 16-15. However, numerous errors in reception and defense, especially Chen Ping’s out-of-bound service at the set point compelled China to lose the set 23-25.
Italy again led 8-7 at the first TTO of the second set and continued to dominate China 16-10 at the second TTO with its perfect blocking system and tricky attacks. China, on the other side, was not able to get over Italy’s physical dominance at the net, while at the same time, their unforced errors put itself at a very passive situation to turn back the results. Team Italy went on to close the second set 25-18 in 23 minutes.
Once again the score stayed close in the beginning of third set and Italy led China 8-7 before the first TTO. Zhou’s timeout at 7-10 didn’t help to change the poor performance of the home team and they were behind Italy 10-16 at the second TTO. Italy showed China no mercy and cruised to a 25-17 win.