Short characterization

ITALY

 

STARTING PLAYERS / SUBSTITUTES

RANKING 2000 - 2008

OG   2000

9

WGP 2001

-

WCh 2002

1

WC   2003

4

OG   2004

5-8

WGP 2005

2

WCh 2006

4

WC   2007

1

OG   2008

5-8

 

After the victory in the initial match against RUS the team easily advanced to the quarter-final, but then lost with a small margin against the USA, consequently it ranked 5th as it already did in 2004.

 

General remarks

·         Team composition with many older, experienced players (average age 27,9 years, 7 players of the 2004 Olympic team, only one player born 1987), together with JPN the „shortest“ team (average body height without 180 cm).

·         Well planned and organized tactical play (computer based scouting).

 

Serve

·         Mixture of actual techniques with excellent tactical adaptation (preparation of the blocking/defense situation). Minor direct effects (Average by set 0,6).

 

Serve reception

·         Stable, but no extraordinary serve reception performance; No 12 Piccinini rank 2 in players‘ ranking (61% success). Depending on the actual situation application of overhand reception.

·         Dominating formation with three players (against floats an alternative with two players).  

 

Set / Attack Complex 1 and Complex 2

·         Well balanced, technically experienced and precise set distribution as well as individual adaptation of sets by experienced setter No 14 Lo Bianco (playing in the team since 2002 WCh). Relatively often precise sets while moving.

·         Quick attacking play in Complex I: Simple attacking combinations with evenly distributed attack termination: both middle blockers very active in 1st tempo attacks, incorporation of backcourt attacks.

·         Attacking play in Complex II: Strong emphasis on high outside attacks, diagonal sets often very high. Attacking efficiency all in all low (no TOP-scorer).

Covering-attacks mainly outside attacks following high or medium-high sets, and in free-ball situations quick attacks in front of or behind the setter.

 

Block / Defense

·         Compared to the TOP 4-teams weak blocking performance (1,7 points per set compared to an average of 2,4-3,7 points per set for TOP teams).

·         Special blocking tactics when setter is frontplayer, good block with one player (the middle blocker), block with three players rare. Starting position of the outside player in most cases closer to the side line.

·         Variable composition of defense positions (without libero, middle blocker on position 6), good positioning and efficient, low defense techniques by the libero. MB on Pos.6).

·         Just as the USA. To reinforce the defense and serve reception by substitution of a second player with libero qualities (No 3 Croce).