Modena, Italy, June 7, 2013 – Italian setter Dragan Travica says his side will use the opening matches of the FIVB Volleyball World League to confirm what areas they need to work on.
Eight-time World League champions will make their debut in the 2013 edition when they host Germany at the Pala Casa Modena on Friday at 20:30 (local time) and again on Sunday at the Pala Ruffini in Torino at 18:00 (local time).
"We all have great incentives,” Travica said. “At least, it's time to take the field with clear objectives. I think these first matches will do well to all of us and let us understand where to focus our attention. Since something has changed in the staffing, we have, of course, to wait a bit, but what matters most is the DNA of the team.
“I'm excited and very happy to be part of the team’s old-timers, despite my young age. I know I have the responsibility of passing on certain values that are part of our way of being, to the younger team members.”
Meanwhile Filippo Lanza and Enrico Cester left Modena in the early afternoon to join the Italian squad in Montefiascone which is training in view of the Mediterranean Games.
> Italy is one of only two countries to have competed in all 24 editions of the World League. The other is Brazil.
> Italy has won the World League title eight times, one short of Brazil's record of nine. However, Italy's last title came in 2000 and its last podium (second place) came in 2004.
> Last year, Italy finished 11th with a 5-7 record, the first time it failed to make the top 10 in World League history.
> In its first 15 World League appearances, Italy finished in the top four every time. In its last eight appearances, Italy has finished sixth or worse every time.
> This is Germany's 10th appearance in the World League. Overall, Germany has a 43-75 win-loss record.
> Germany finished fifth in last year's tournament, easily its best ever performance. Germany's previous best result was eighth in 1993.
FIVB Volleyball World League 2013 Page 5
> Including the final round, Germany was 11-3 in last year's World League, including a six-match winning streak to end the group stage. All three losses were at the hands of Bulgaria.
> Germany's 43 World League wins are tied for 15th place with Korea and Greece, one behind 14th-placed China (counting Serbia and Serbia and Montenegro, who both have more than 44 wins, as one country). With Greece and China not participating in this year's World League, Germany could move up the all-time win list this weekend.
> Italy and Germany have only played four times in the World League, splitting their four meetings in the 2003 group phase.
> All four previous World League matches between these two teams have been decided in four sets.
> Since their last World League encounter, Italy has won all five matches between the sides, most recently at the 2012 Olympic Qualification Tournament.
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