2004 FIVB WORLD GRAND PRIX

 


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2005 edition
 
ITA/Italy

The Italian women's Volleyball team heads into the 2004 World Grand Prix with bitter memories of their display at the 2003 event, which they hosted. Three wins from ten matches was a poor return for the Azzurre and the Italian ladies will be hoping to put things right this time around.

Following their triumph at the 2002 World Championship, big things were expected from this entertaining side however they have yet to rediscover that amazing form, a fact that was highlighted by the team ending the 2003 European Championships in Turkey in a lowly sixth position. A jump to fourth at the World Cup in Japan was considered an improvement on the road to recovery but they still have an awkward assignment to qualify for the Athens Olympics at a World Olympic Qualification tournament in Japan in May where they have to beat the likes of Russia, Japan and Korea to claim their ticket.

Yet the Italians, ranked fourth in the world, do have many qualities. The Most Valuable Player at the World Championship and one of Italy's tallest players Elisa Togut is on her way back to her best with her 192cm frame set to cause havoc while libero Paola Cardullo at 162cm is seen as one of the most courageous and widely followed players on the international circuit. The rest of the squad compliment each other with passion, drive and a sure-fire spirit.

Volleyball is the most practiced women's sport in Italy and has received the backing of the national federation with over 100,000 registered players but it is only now that Italian women's Volleyball is finally seeing the hard work bear fruit.

Italy will host the final phase of the World Grand Prix in 2004, but before they advance to that stage they will take on some of the world’s best teams in the qualifying rounds based in Asia.


Overall Standings for Italy
Word Grand Prix Played Total Matches played Win Lost % Wins
6 53 17 36 32.08