Jesolo, Italy – Brahim Besbes recorded 25 points leading Tunisia to a 24-26, 25-20, 25-18, 25-15 win over Italy. The victory earned Tunisia the chance to play for fifth place against Spain on Sunday while the home team will meet India in a battle for the seventh position.
Besbes and Mohamed Ayech each contributed with 4 blocks to the 12 compiled by their team. Mohamed Ben Othmen added 10 points. Luca Vettori paced Italy with 19 points, all via attacks, and Alessandro Preti and Filippo Lanza added 13 and 11 points respectively. Tunisia benefited from 32 opponent errors while committing 21.
The block by Preti broke a 7-7 tie in favor of Italy. Ben Othmen scored three times for Tunisia and Vettori had two spikes leading toward the first technical time-out. Pair of errors in attack by Vettori and Lanza allowed Tunisia to tie at 14-all. Vettori and Besbes traded spikes and Lanza sent Italy in front 16-15 with a rocket. Preti scored twice around a spike of Fedrizzi giving Italy a 20-16 advantage. Blocks by Sammoud and Besbes cut the difference to one-point and then Vettori was short with his attack for the tie at 24. Vettori attacked from backcourt and Preti blocked for the 26-24 Italy win.
Besbes scored with one ace giving Tunisia an 8-3 advantage. Lanza and Vettori landed spikes for 8-5 but Ben Abdallah answered from the other side. Ben Othmen scored to give Tunisia again a five-point comfort and Sammoud served his third ace for a 13-7 lead. Action resumed and Besbes scored twice with block and spike extending the difference to 15-7 and Tunisia led 16-7 at the second stop. Several Tunisian errors combined with a recharged Italian offense cut the distance to 24-20 but Ben Abdallah closed the set 25-20 for Tunisia.
Besbes and Ben Othmen contributed to an 8-5 lead of Tunisia in the third set. Lanza and Vettori attacked and later Preti scored for the tie at 9-9. Tunisia recovered the two-point lead via two Italian errors. Vettori scored twice with attacks from right side but Agrebi and Besbes maintained the difference 16-12. Lanza and Preti narrowed the gap to 19-17 but Besbes scored and one Italian defensive mistake opened the gap again to four points at 21-17. Tunisia won the third set by score of 25-18.
Tunisia led 8-5 in the fourth set and improved to 11-6 following one ace by Ben Abdallah. Another well located spike of Besbes elevated the difference to 16-8. The set continued with a complete domination by the Tunisian side when Italy called for a time-out at 22-13. Tunisia won 25-15.