Hiroshima, Japan, September 9, 2015 – Italy made it two wins from two after they beat Australia
in straight sets (25-17, 25-18, 25-15) at the FIVB Volleyball World Cup Japan 2015, with Osmany Juantorena, Ivan Zaytsev and Simone Gianelli illustrating how dangerous the side can be from anywhere on the court.
The trio combined for a total of 30 points, with all three scoring 10. Gianelli was named most impressive player after three blocks and six aces in the match while Thomas Edgar led Australia with 12 points.
Both teams were feeling each other out at the start of the first set, with Italy maintaining a narrow two-point lead. A couple of Italian errors saw the gap narrow to one point, but a Zaytsev spike and ace, one of three in the opening frame, saw them move ahead again. Italy continued to find their rhythm and when Simone Buti earned Italy their first block of the game, Australia coach Roberto Santilli called a timeout. A miscommunication in the Italian reception gave Australia a glint of hope at 23-16, but Italy sided out before a Thomas Edgar error on the second set point gave them the opener.
Australia stayed on Italy’s heels at the beginning of the second set before the world No.4 opened their lead again on the back of an Edgar serve error. However, the 26-year-old made up for the mistake by pulling Australia to within three points with a big spike. Australia were leading the error count by midway through the set and Zaytsev and Simone Giannelli continued to pile on the pressure in attack, with the duo proving the difference as Italy kept the lead. Simone Anzani concluded the second with his first score of the game.
The green and gold of Australia gained the lead for the first time in the match at 5-4 in the second set with and Edgar spike. But it didn’t last long as Piano tuned up for a spike to make it 7-5. Italy built on their lead once again, with their attack nullifying the Aussies reception. An epic rally with some unbelievable digging brought Australia to within five, but they failed to narrow the gap enough, going down 25-15 following a thunderous Juantorena ace as Italy maintained their 100 per cent winning record.