Doha, Qatar, December 21, 2010 – Italy's Foppapedretti Bergamo claimed bronze at the 2010 FIVB Women's Club World Championship in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday morning in a see-saw match against the Dominican Republic's Mirador which they won in four sets (25-8, 23-25, 25-8, 25-15).
Bergamo dominated sets one and three, but in between lost their way briefly as they surrendered a 14-8 lead in dropping the second set. However, with notable contributions from Lucia Bosetti and Serena Ortolani, top scorers for the Italians with 20 and 17 points respectively, Davide Mazzanti's side restored their supremacy in set four.
After the major disappointment of yesterday's semifinal loss to Sollys Osasco, Foppapedretti – winners of the 2009 and 2010 CEV Champions League – at least had the consolation of the bronze medal to take home with them as they turn their attentions back to the last preliminary matches in the Champions League and their domestic campaign.
The Bergamo team had already beaten Mirador in the group stage and they showed their motivation to finish on a winning note by taking a massive 9-1 lead at the start. Francesca Piccinini and Ortolani were playing their part in attack while the Romanian middle blocker Iuliana Nucu was showing a good understanding with young setter Noemi Signorile – just 20 – who has assumed the role in the absence of Eleonora Lo Bianco, absent from this tournament after undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Signorile has performed well in Doha and she helped her team establish a 16-6 advantage by the second technical break. Bergamo were much more consistent in reception than during their semifinal defeat and when Signorile stamped an ace with her floating serve, the Italians had a large stock of set points at 24-7. Valentina Arrighetti took the second of them with her trademark, a fast tempo from the middle of the net (25-8).
The start of the second set was much closer with Mirador only 8-7 behind at the first technical time-out. A mini-break from Bergamo came right after that pause, forcing the Mirador coach, Marcos Kwiek, to call a time-out. Piccinini – who has been nursing an injury and missed the prelims here in Doha – was performing with great consistency in defence while Bosetti looked like a different player after a poor performance against Sollys Osasco. Yet Mirador showed they were not out of the match and turned the score around to lead 23-21 with two blocks in a row on Elitsa Vasileva. Annerys Vargas then spiked for 24-22 and although she serving too long to spurn the first set point, Arrighetti blocked out and the Dominicans had parity.
Bergamo got back on track in set three as they took a 7-2 lead to the delight of the many young school pupils in the stands of the Al-Gharafa sports hall. With Piccinini causing serious problems with her serve, Mazzanti's charges widened the gap to 12-4. Driven on by Arrighetti, they went 20-6 ahead after an ace by Signorile and had soon secured the set at 25-8.
After a close opening, Bergamo got the upper hand in the middle of the fourth set at 10-6 and Mazzanti even had the luxury of trying out some new players ahead of the demanding schedule coming up for his team over the Christmas period. Arrighetti – one of the best players on court today – completed the job at 25-15 and the Italians had third spot on the podium.