Hiroshima, Japan, September 13, 2015 – Ivan Zaytsev helped Italy bounce back from their loss to USA
at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup 2015 a day earlier by beating hosts Japan in straight sets (25-21, 25-20, 25-15) in the final match from Hiroshima.
The 202 cm opposite contributed 16 points, including four aces to close the match as his side got their campaign back on track. Masahiro Yanagida top scored for Japan with 15 points.
Italy were on top early, with Zaytsev spiking through for 7-3. A Kunhiro Shimizu ace brought Japan to within one, and they drew level several times, but Zaytsev again attacked well, splitting the block to make it 19-17. Japan threatened a fightback during the latter stages, but there scripted their own downfall as Daisuke Yako sent a serve long putting Italy one-up.
Japan succeeded in keeping in touch with Italy at the start of the second and gained the lead at 10-8. But serving errors cost them dearly as Italy rumbled back at 15-all before Simone Gianelli block saw them go ahead. Japan’s serve continued to plague them and the Italians took full advantage, earning a 21-18 lead. The hosts failed to improve as the pressure began to mount. A wayward Yuki Ishikawa spike made it 2-0 Italy.
Italy were now in full swing and a hat trick of Osmany Juantorena aces saw them move into a huge lead at 8-2. Japan began to eat into the advantage and a pair of Yanagida aces saw the score move to 13-7. Some passionate home support saw Japan claw back into the game. But with Zaytsev at the serve line Italy moved on, the 26-year old hitting a huge spike followed by four aces in a row to close the match.