OTTAWA (CANADA)- A reaction was needed and so, after the defeats against Argentina and the USA, certainly top teams, today the Azzurri won for the first time against Cuba 3-1 (25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18) , which unlocks Leaderboard, Ranking and Morale. Italy in the field with some deviations compared to the first two games, right between Sanguinetti and Bottolo, confirmation of Rinaldi and Mosca, the Porro Romanò diagonal and free Balaso.
The Azzurri were good at maintaining their pace in the opening two sets and then allowed Cuba to reopen the game in set number three, failing to assert themselves in set fourth, but Italy took over and clinched the set and first win .
Romanò and Bottolo were the top scorers of the game with 17 points and the good performance of Sanguinetti, who scored 10 points in the first game as a starter, and Rinaldi with 11 points batted, 8 winning blocks for the Azzurri at the end. Among the Cuban evidence is Lopez, author of 13 points.
Tomorrow’s game against Germany, which closes the blue week in Canada, will be broadcast live on SKY Sport 1, SKY Sport Arena (NOW TV) and Volleyball World TV at 7pm.
De Giorgi shuffles the cards, sending a 6+1 onto the field, with Sanguinetti and Bottolo joining diagonally with Porro and Romanò, Mosca the other central player, Rinaldi confirming and Balaso. The start is balanced, you meet Cuba with the “Italians” Herrera and Yant on the field. Bottolo scores, start tied 3-3, Bottolo repeats by stopping Herrera with a block 4-4. Porro makes it 5-5, Rinaldi gives the Azzurri a 6-5 lead. Italy tries to keep the lead, Bottolo’s block-out puts it 11-10, Sanguinetti’s ace puts it 12-10. Italy believe in it, Moscow’s wall is worth 15-13, Rinaldi’s 17-14. Romanò’s ace delivers 5 set balls to Italy with the help of the net, Romanò ensures the end, his block is 25:20.
Italy started well with the confirmed 6+1, Sanguinetti scoring the first point of the set after a one-handed raise from Porro. Italy started the second set well with 4:1. Cuba makes a mistake, the second goal error is worth the point 7:3 in favor of Italy, while Porro’s winner brings Italy 9:5. Rinaldi’s serve puts Cuba in trouble, Sanguinetti took advantage of it and crushed the 12-6. Italy maintain the lead, Bottolo forces serve, his ace at 16-10. Azzurri led consistently in the final set to the 24-18 score, a point worth six set points, the set ended 25-19.
6+1 unchanged in the third set for the Blues. Cuba tries to react and try to impose their game early on, but to no avail as Italy hold Herrera and his companions 4-4. Two crucial serves in a row from Lopez gave Cuba a 7-4 lead. Rinaldi in second place is 8th, Cuba is 8:10 ahead of Bottolo di Potenza with 10:10. Cuba advances, the wall against Bottolo is worth 13-10. Romanò tries to catch Cuba, first on attack, then on serve, 15-14. Cuba hits and rebuilds the block, Herrera’s winning attack is worth 22-17, Conception’s block is 23-17. De Giorgi sends Recine and Falaschi onto the field for Porro and Rinaldi in this final part of the set. Only Recine gets the serve worth 19 for Italy versus 23 for Cuba, who win the third set by a score of 25-20.
Azzurri on the field in both the fourth and previous first three. Bottolo lands the first point in attack. Two attacking shots from Lopez gave Cuba a 3-2 lead. Yant fails to make contact with the blue wall, his outside attack gives Italy a 7-5 lead, Herrera’s subsequent error puts them 8-5 ahead. Moscow raises the wall, Italy is ahead 12-8, Cuba tries point by point but Italy keeps +4, 16-12. The Cuban coach changes the diagonal, but Italy continues to score and lead 21-16. The match point falls at 24:18, the set and the game ended with the last 25:18.
Ferdinando De Giorgi (Italy coach)- « It was a long-awaited win, the guys wanted to do well from the start, it’s clear that the first two races got us into trouble, we’re trying to balance our technical abilities, against Argentina and the USA it wasn’t easy. Today we had an opportunity to do something good with Cuba and we were looking for a show of character and continuity to show we’re there. I’m satisfied with this performance, we now have little time to prepare Germany. It will be another one of those important games. Let’s use the confidence that today’s win gave us and try to make even small steps forward. Tomorrow we will try to create them. From a game, character and compactness point of view, I guess I can’t say that we opened up because we weren’t blocked, but simply had two important opponents in front of us. The desire to do good was there, but sometimes if you don’t use it with balance, it can’t be good for you ».
Leandro Mosca (Italy)-“I would base it on several points from today’s game, our reaction after the lost set, the first two sets in which we played excellent volleyball.” We obviously still have a lot of room for improvement. I liked the will to progress even when things weren’t going so well, the long work of these weeks paid off today, I’m happy with today’s performance. Now let’s try to use today’s positive sensations by bringing them onto the field against Germany tomorrow.”
ITALY – CUBA 3 – 1 (25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18)
ITALY: Porro 4, Bottolo 17, Romanò 17, Rinaldi 11, Sanguinetti 10, Mosca 5, Balaso (L), Falaschi 0, Gardini 0, Recine 1, Gironi 0. Neither Federici (L), Calves, Courtesy. All. De Giorgi.
CUBA: Masso 5, Concepcion 11, Taboada 1, Herrera 9, Lopez 13, Yant 10, Garcia (left), Thondike 1, Gutierrez 2, Suarez 0. Ne Mergarejo, Goide, Pedroso, Gorguet (left), coach Nicolas Ernesto Vives coffignat.
Referee: Ortiz Hector (PUR), Simonovic Vladimir (SUI)
Duration set: 20, 22, 26, 21 Total: 89′