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Italy win after a breathtaking fight

Germany put up a solid effort but were eventually downed by European rivals Italy, who clinched a spot in the finals of the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix
Hong Kong, China, August 21, 2011 – Italy came through a tough battle with Germany on the last day of 2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix preliminary round in Hong Kong as they clinched a 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-23) win on Sunday.

With the win Italy qualify for the finals while Germany finish a disappointing campaign which saw them pick up just two wins.

2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix
August 5-28

The first set started as a see-saw affair as unforced errors were made by both sides. Attempting to fight for dominance in the set, both teams put on their best performance with stunning spikes and solid blocks. Italy was slightly ahead at the first TTO however, the gap widened at the second as Germany was unable to level up their scores. Thanks to the powerful blocking of Sara Anzanello and robust spikes of Simona Gioli, Italy seized the opening set at 25-15.

Italy continued with their hammering spikes at the beginning of the second set, penetrating the unstable blocks of Germany. The German girls were exhausted from defending, putting on few attacks. At 14-8, Germany began to fight back with Margareta Kozuch’s assertive spikes and continuous forceful attacks to narrow the deficit to one point. Both teams fought neck to neck but Germany couldn’t keep up their momentum, going 2-0 down.

Knowing the third set would be another stiff affair, Germany strengthened their attacks and opened the set with brilliant diagonal spikes. Italy’s confidence was shaken and they called for an early timeout at 5-1. Italy displayed stronger blocks after the timeout and tightened the margin to 11-10. Yet with greater determination, Germany continued to lead the set until Italy reversed the situation at 19-18. Towards the end of the set, both teams were aggressive to gain points and fierce spikes and blocks were made by both teams, creating an intense situation. Under the cheering of Hong Kong audience, the set was finally closed by Italy at 25-23.


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