Italy snapped their five-match losing streak after beating Australia 3-1 in their final match at the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship
Bydgoszcz, Poland, September 14, 2014 – Italy had an excellent attack game that left the Australian defenders helpless to win 3-1 (25-23, 25-14, 21-25, 25-18) in Pool E at the Luczniczka Hall on Sunday.
• Italy ended their five-match losing streak.
• Italian defenders limited Australian opposite Thomas Edgar to score only six points.
• Italy’s Jiri Kovar topped all scorers with 18 points, while Adam White was Australia’s top scorer with 11 points.
• Italy outscored Australia in attacks 47-41, blocks 13-8, and service aces 6-3.
Italy started the first set with an 8-6 lead at the first technical timeout that ballooned to 18-12 a few rallies later. Australia rallied to tie the score at 22-all as the Italian attackers felt more pressure in the end game. Australia led 23-22 from an ace scored by Luke Smith that forced Italian coach Mauro Berruto to call a timeout. The Italians regrouped from the major scare and ended the set in their favour 25-23.
Australia’s Thomas Edgar and Adam White outscored the Italian attackers with five points each but Italian setter Dragan Travica had better distribution of balls to his attackers for a more balanced point output that lifted the Italians to the first set victory.
Emanuele Birrareli’s ace gave Italy a 13-7 advantage in the second set, prompting Australia coach Jon Uriarte to stop the action and talk to his players. But Berruto’s players stayed focused and kept a firm grip of their advantage at 16-10 at the second technical timeout. Italians kept pounding on their attacks to the Australian side that raised their lead to 22-13. Australia managed to score only one point in the next plays for Italy to complete the second set takeover 25-14.
Italy commanded the second set as Jiri Kovar stepped up on offence. Kovar got help from Luca Vettori and Filippo Lanza to complete Italy’s offensive swings from the wings, while middle Emanuele Birrarelli took control of their middle.
Australia took the lead but Italy stayed close in the first and second technical timeouts in the third set, 8-7 and 16-15, respectively. At 19-all, Australia pulled up with a two-point advantage from a service error from Kovar and a block 21-19. Australia suffered on their first ball, allowing the Italians to deadlock at 21-all. The Australians somehow managed to finish the set as the Italians had their own setbacks on their attack 25-21.
Italy doubled their lead 12-6 in the fourth set led by Giulio Sabbi, who came in from the bench. Italy extended the lead further 19-10 as the Australians looked rattled on their defence. Italy attacked and countered well giving them more space to be creative in some plays. The Australians managed to cut down some chunk of the Italian lead but the latter managed to protect it until they reached the end of the fourth set 25-18 for the match victory.