Volleyball Nations League, Italy beaten by the United States in the semifinal - Corriere.it

Volleyball Nations League, Italy beaten by the United States in the semifinal - Corriere.it

Of Pierfrancesco Catucci

The Azzurri clearly lose three sets to zero. Sunday at 17 the final for third place against Japan, the USA will play for the title against Poland

He stops again in the semifinalslike last year against France, Fef De Giorgi's Italy race to the top step of the Nations League podium, competition that the Azzurri won for the last time in 2000 when it was still called the World League. After a quarter-final played at a very high level against Olympic bronze medalist Argentina in Tokyo 2020, the Azzurri collapsed in terms of play and result and lost 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-18) against the United States in the semifinal. It will be the hosts Poland (to be played in Gdansk) and the USA to contend for the title (and a check for a million dollars) tomorrow in the final, while Italy will face Japan led by Milanese Yuki Ishikawa at 5pm (live on Sky Sport) for the third step of the podium.

Italy which will necessarily have to change pace with respect to tonight's challenge. Pressed right from the start, the Azzurri never manage to get out of the hole. The block-defence, one of the fundamentals on which De Giorgi had built the national team, does not give the usual answers and even the attack, conditioned by a reception that is not of a high level, does not offer solutions with Michieletto and Roman who find no continuity. It ends with the US managing without taking off the accelerator and Italy getting stuck in its difficulties.

The match

De Giorgi confirms the sextet on Wednesday against Argentina and lines up Giannelli in service, Roman opposite, Michieletto and Lavia in the band, Russo and Galassi in the center and Balaso free. The United States are off to a flying start, they put a lot of pressure with their serve and block and the Azzurri struggle to get into the game, even though they always remain attached to the set. However, it is the Americans who set the pace: Michieletto is unable to pass in attack and even Lavia struggles in the fundamental. In the distance, Italy loosens the tension and the USA takes home the first set. And they continue to hammer their serve even in the second half. The Italian reception wobbles and the Azzurri are unable to find alternative solutions to the high ball, read perfectly by the Stars and Stripes wall. Anderson (ex Vibo, Modena and Perugia) a sentence and Italy does not oppose resistance. And so the Americans immediately put a wide break between their opponents and administer it up to 2-0. And it is, more or less, also the trend of the last set. De Giorgi changes little or nothing and Italy continues to flounder, handing over the match to Speraw's team.

July 22, 2023 (change July 22, 2023 | 21:52)

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