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Worst ever result for Italy

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 6, 2005 – Eight-time World League champions Italy recorded their worst ever result in the competition when they finished seventh during the Intercontinental Round, which finished last weekend, with a 6-6 win-loss record.

With the Final Round starting on Friday with Serbia and Montenegro, Brazil, Cuba and Poland, it will be the first time that the Azzurri will be missing from the finale of the premier men’s annual event.

It was a tough campaign for the world number two, with big names such as Andrea Giani, Samuele Papi, Andrea Sartoretti and Damiano Pippi all missing as they struggled to put together any two victories on one weekend. The only time was against France in week four, all other weekends featured split results apart from the last round, where Italy lost twice to Bulgaria.

Even at home it was difficult for the Olympic silver medallists and last year’s runner’s up where they won three of their six matches.

“I am disappointed that we will not go to the finals, but this is not the most important at this stage,” Italy coach Gianpaolo Montali said. “I know that my team has to be well prepared but for this I need a month at least. We started the World League a few days after our local championship ended and it was impossible to prepare the boys.

“This is Italian volleyball for now, but we will get better. We are just in a preparation period. Give us two months and you will see a greater team. Do not forget that our team is new and we still have to work.”

New Italian captain Valerio Vermiglio said; “We are young team and we will develop in search of victory.”

Italy’s previous World League results: 1 (1990), 1 (1991), 1 (1992), 3 (1993), 1 (1994), 1 (1995), 2 (1996), 1 (1997), 4 (1998), 1 (1999), 1 (2000), 2 (2001), 4 (2002), 3 (2003), 2 (2004).

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