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2005 edition
World Grand Prix 2004 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Italy beat U.S.A. 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19) - duration 1:52
30-Jul, start time: 20:07, end time: 21:59 - Attendance: 3'800
City: Reggio Calabria; Hall : Palapentimele hall
Italy beat USA to progress through to final phase ahead of China
Needing a victory to reach the semifinals, Italy stormed to a four-set win over world number two USA to pip defending champions China for the fourth semifinal spot.

The atmosphere in the Palapentimele Hall was amazing as the home side played like the world champions they are to finish second in Pool A on Set Ratio difference behind USA and ahead of China.

USA started the match with a different starting six to the one which saw the Americans qualify for the semifinals on Thursday with a 3-0 win over China. But the match was still of the highest order with spectacular rallies and superb digging from both sides. Energetic captain Manuela Leggeri for Italy and USA's Nancy Metcalf were in great form, helping their sides keep pace with each other making for a tight first set. It was left to Simona Rinieri, who scored three consecutive points, to finally claim the set for Italy.

The second set was a superb showdown between Rinieri and USA's Heather Bown as they both exchanged scoring blows. But despite some problems on receiving, it was Rinieri's Italian side who claimed the set on the back of a Leggeri block, much to the delight of the passionate home crowd.

The superb duel continued in the third set. USA depended on Bown and Metcalf's fast play combined with the powerful skills of Logan Tom and Ogonna Nnamani. While Rinieri, who was having an outstanding game in combination with the impressive Nadia Centoni, kept Italy in the game, this time the Europeans could not peg back the difference and three successive points to the Americans saw the favourites pull one set back.

In the fourth set Centoni and Rinieri drove Italy to an early 8-4 lead. Metcalf continued to keep USA in the game by scoring important points at crucial times but it wasn't enough. The serving game of USA started to deteriorate and once Italy got their noses ahead there was no coming back for the Americans.

A super match ahead of Saturday's semifinals