MATCH INFO

Germany win roller-coaster match to qualify for top eight round


Germany celebrate their roller-coaster win over Italy

Ankara, Turkey, August 14, 2011 - Germany held off Pool D rivals Italy in a four-set thriller (31-29, 16-25, 27-25, 25-20) on the third and final day of first-round action at the FIVB Girl's Youth World Championship in Ankara, Turkey. Sunday's epic victory at the Ankara Sports Hall improved second-placed Germany's record to 2-1, while Italy dropped to 1-2 and finished third in the pool as a result of their defeat.

Outstanding player of the match was German Susanne Besa with remarkable 24 points (18 in attack), while the best Italian scorer was Elena Perinelli with 15 kills. Germany added 18 block winners to their successful 2011 Girl’s Youth World Championship campaign.

FIVB Volleyball Girls' Youth World Championship

Both teams found their spiking range early and it was even to 8-8 in the first set.  A blistering winner from Ilaria Maruotti saw Italy 10-8 ahead, forcing German head coach Jens Tietböhl calling his first timeout.  It didn't do much good and the worried coach hauled his players off again at 11-14. After that, the game went off the boil, but Italy were still three points ahead at the second technical break. The young German talents came closer at 16-17 with a tremendous block from Juliane Langgemach on Maruotti. A service ace from captain Jennifer Geerties and another marvelous block from Langgemach moved the scoreboard forward to the benefit of the Germans.  The set then balanced on a knife’s edge with two first Italian set balls at 24-22, and one for Germany at 25-24. Italy got four other chances to close the set out, but the rising stars from Germany kept cool. Captain Geerties seized the opportunity at 30-29 to finish it in Germany’s favor with a splendid service winner.

However, the “squadra azzurra” stayed focused in the beginning of the second set. After Anna Danesi made successive blocks on Germany’s spikers to take Italy's lead to 8-5 at the first technical timeout, the big-hitting Italian attackers added several scorching winners to stretch their lead to 18-11. It seemed as Germany ran out of fuel after their extra effort at the end of the first set. Germany’s woes continued and a spiking error by Langgemach – Germany's seventh error of the set – brought up set point, which Laura Melandri converted with an unreturnable thump.

The Germans played brighter volleyball at the start of the third set, with a three-point run to take a comfortable lead at 9-6, but found themselves again behind 12-16 at the second technical timeout. Italy geared up with powerful serves, while the German passers completely lost focus. However, several German block kills and Italy’s poor serve reception brought the teams level at 16-16. German captain Geerties also landed a couple of big spikes, but Italy fought back to lead 21-18 behind some big left-hand winners by Italian captain Elena Perinelli. Still, the Germans kept calm, taking advantage of the insufficient efficiency of the Italian players. After 30 minutes, Nele Barber smashed for 27-25 to offer Germany a hard-fought 2-1 set lead.

There were never more than two points in it from the beginning of the fourth set and the second technical timeout.  Geerties gave the Germans some small breathing space with a thunderous spike at 20-19, but Italian Maruotti fired back to level the score again. However, two block kills by Melanie Keil and a clever tipover by Barber brought up a first German match point at 24-20. One rally later, another Italian spiking mistake ended the match in Germany’s favor.  


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