Rome, September 27, Italy, 2014- Italy claims the fourth victory out of four matches in Pool A at the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Italy 2014 in Rome Saturday, defeating Germany 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-10, 25-18) after a difficult start in the first set.
PalaLottomatica was full in every inch for this big match, and the Italian flag was waving all over the sport hall. Italy has three players scoring high: Valentina Diouf (17), Valentina Arrighetti (16) and Carolina Costagrande (15); but the top scorer of the match was Margareta Kozuch for Germany, scoring 22 points in the match.Key facts- This was the fifth head-to-head match in the World Championship. Germany won the first two, but Italy has now won the last three meetings.- 10,612 people came to see the evening match of this day- Italy lost their first set in the 2014 edition top open the match- Italy had its streak of five consecutive World Championship match victories in three sets snapped- Germany have failed to win a single set just three times in their last 26 World Championship matches.
The first set started in a crowded PalaLottomatica, with Italy emotioned by the warm audience, and seemed not very focused on the match. Germany immediately showed its muscles at blocking, stopping Carolina Costagrande. Francesca Piccinini was the declared German serve’s objective, so the first technical timeout came at 8-3 for Margareta Kozuch’s team. Maren Brinker spiked very well to take her team up to 10 points in the set. Carolina Costagrande’s answer was a great diagonal spike followed by Valentina Arrighetti’s ace bringing to Italy the seventh point. Carolina Costagrande’s block reduced the gap down to three points at 12-9. Germany started to have faults on the serve, but the second technical timeout came at 16-12 for them. Diouf’s spike and a Brinker mistake allowed Italy to close the deficit to 17-15 and forced Giovanni Guidetti to a timeout call. Germany’s block came back to do their job and Bonitta stopped the game at 19-16 for Germany. The new entered Jennifer Geertis’ ace on Francesca Piccinini increased the margin to 22-17. Carolina Costagrande took the lead of Italian attacks and Valentina Diouf’s ace set the score at 23-20 for Germany. Kozuch closed the set at 25-21.0
The second set started with Cristina Chirichella’s points one at blocking and one at serving, bringing Italy one point ahead in the score at 4-3. Valentina Arrighetti’s two spikes after a big defense by Monica de Gennaro, claimed the 7-4 advantage. The first technical timeout arrived thanks to a Diuof’s ace. Eleonora Lo Bianco’s block over Brinker made Italy go up six points, 10-4. Germany’s 3-0 streak made the score 11-7. Lo Bianco regularly used Diouf and Italy arrived first at the technical timeout at 16-9. The gap remained the same until 21-14, when Guidetti called his second timeout of the set. Lo Bianco’s ace and Diouf’s spike claimed the set ball for Italy. The set ended at 25-17.
The third set saw a sprint start from Italy, flying at 8-3, pushed by Costagrande. Germany decided to change both its wing spikers with Geerties and Laura Weihenmaier in, but Italy continued to serve very well and at 11-4 Germany called a timeout. Germany wasn’t able to fill the gap, their serves being not very efficent as in the first set. Italy lapped the opponents in the score at 16-8 and a very long rally closed by Diouf scored the 20-8 with a 4-0 streak. Arrighetti’s ace fixed the set at a heavy 25-10.
Fourth set saw two unbelievable defenses by Antonella Del Core and Diouf spiking for the 3-0 lead. The early timeout arrived at 4-0. The setter change with Kathleen Weiss in brought the first point to guests at 6-1. Kozuch found the measures to Italian block and scored a spike and an ace for the 8-3 technical time out. Costagrande’s attacks on obliged balls were very important in this moment for another streak of 4-0. The gap stood deep even at the second technical time out at 16-6. Germany couldn’t find continuity on the serve, and many errors came from the nine-metre line. Kozuch’s two points in a row showed her will to not leave the game and reduced the gap down to seven points at 20-13, and Heike Beier followed her example. So Bonitta preferred to stop this trend calling a time out. The comeback of the guests became real at 20-16. Italy kept the mind on the final result and the set was locked at 25-18. Both teams go to the second round of the competition.