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USA down Italy 3-0 for second Grand Prix Final Round win

USA's Heather Bown spikes against Francesca Piccinini

Ningbo, China, August 26, 2010 - The United States convincingly beat Italy in straight sets (25-23, 25-20, 25-14) to clinch their second win in the FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round in Ningbo, China on Thursday.


The USA, who overcame Poland 3-2 on Wednesday in their first match of the final round, won the match by a scoreline of 25-23, 25-20, 25-14 in 77 minutes. Earlier this month, the Americans beat Italy 3-1 in the preliminary round in Thailand.


It was in blocking where the Americans made the difference. The USA won 15 points on blocks against Italy's four.


FIVB World Grand Prix
Final Round
August 25-29
Live Scoring

Helped by three spiking errors of Italy, the USA opened the first set with a 6-3 lead, forcing Italy coach Massimo Barbolini to call an early timeout. Italy then won three points in a row to equalize before the USA jumped ahead 8-6 at the first TTO. The USA managed to hold on to a narrow lead until the end of the first frame as Foluke Akinradewo, Heather Bown and Alisha Glass presented an impenetrable wall in front of Italian spikers.


In the second set, Italy could hardly react to the solid U.S. defence, allowing their opponents to jump to a 6-2 lead before stretching it to 16-10. Italy took advantage of a U.S. lapse in defence to claw back for 18-17. But once the Americans regained their rhythm, Italy could not go further and had to surrender the set 25-20.


The USA came storming out of the blocks against Italy in the third set, obtaining a commanding 6-0 lead to force Italy coach Massimo Barbolini to call timeout twice within three minutes. But his instructions didn't work, as with Destinee Hooker spiking powerfully from the flank and Foluke Akinradewo efficient in blocking, the USA breezed through the lop-sided set with minimal fuss.

On Wednesday USA will play defending champions Brazil while Italy face Japan.


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