USA claim first win as Russia and Italy also triumph in World League
Russian fans celebrate their side's victory over Egypt on day two of the second weekend of the FIVB World League Intercontinental Round|
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 11, 2010 – USA claimed their first victory in this year’s FIVB World League as Russia and Italy also recorded wins in Week Two of the 2010 World League Intercontinental Round on Friday.
Olympic champions USA came from one set down to claim their first victory in the 2010 World League after three matches. It took USA four sets to defeat Finland 3-1 (25-27, 25-18, 27-25, 25-18) in Tampere as Sean Rooney scored 22 points for the visitors and Antti Siltala scored 20 for the hosts.
The game opened with a close battle that saw Finland take the first set before USA pulled away to claim three straight sets and the win. "This was a tough match. In the first set we were leading, but Finland came back and won,” USA captain Ryan Millar said. “The third set was a turning point of this match when we won it 27-25." Finland and USA will face again on Saturday at 3.30pm GMT.
Meanwhile, world No. 3 Russia fought off a stern challenge from the ever-improving Egypt, who are ranked 14th in the world, as they claimed a less-than-convincing victory 3-1 (26-24, 22-25, 25-21, 25-15) in Kaliningrad.
Egyptian Abdelhay Ahmed topped the scorers with 19 points but it wasn’t enough as Russia finally found their rhythm in the third set. The sides will meet again on Saturday at 3pm GMT. "I am happy with the victory, but I am not quite satisfied with how we reacted to the difficulties we had at the beginning of the match,” Russian coach Daniele Bagnoli said. “We shouldn’t have been nervous.”
In the final match of the night Italy claimed a straight-set (25-21, 25-18, 25-18) win over China in front of home fans in Chieti to maintain their unbeaten record in the World League, like Russia. Despite Chang Ping topping the scoring with 15 points, China could not see off the Italians, with Michal Lasko scoring 12 points for the home side.
"Matches against China are always dangerous and for this reason we have to maintain this rhythm in the next match," Italian coach Andrea Anastasi said. Italy will face China again on Sunday at 6pm local time in Ancona.
Earlier on Thursday, Serbia clinched their third win from as many matches in the opening match of Week Two with a tight 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-23) win over France in Lyon in front of 5,000 spectators.
For the full draw, standings, latest news, live scoring and photos visit the FIVB World League website at http://www.fivb.org/EN/Volleyball/Competitions/WorldLeague/2010/?Tourn=WL2010