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17/08/17
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Italy proves favorite role in Pool C

The „Azzurri“ also won their second Eurovolley-match in Innsbruck. Finland played well and scored just 8 points less than Italy, but lost 0-3 (23-25, 25-27, 25-21).

italienartTo be honest, nobody expected that there would be more Finnish than Italian fans in the „Olympiahalle Innsbruck“. It seemed that even the Italian players were surprised by this fact, as they started pretty nervously in the match. The „Suomi“ calls from the stands helped Finland to take the early lead and keep it till the end. Everything was ready for a big surprise when Italy suddenly arrived in the game and overtook control. 4 consecutive points brought Italy back on winner’s road (25-23).

The second set started as the first one had ended before. A 4:0 mini-break put Italy in front. It took some time till Finland recovered from first set’s shock. Just because of strong services by Mikko Oivanen (3 winners), Finland was able to keep the game open till the end. They had the chance to win (23-22), but Italy countered again and used his third chance to secure the second set (27-25).

In the third set, Italy finally played more constantly and with less mistakes than the sets before. Also Italy’s service was putting more and more pressure on Finnland’s receiving players and created Finland’s lowest reception percentage in the game (58% positive rec.). Finland tried to fight back but was not rewarded for their strong efforts.

36 year old Luigi Mastrangelo scored 18 points for Italy (8 blocks!). Cristian Savani contributed 13 points. Like in Finland’s first match, Antti Siltala was topscorer for the „Suomi“ (10).

Italy’s coach Mauro Berruto, who worked in Finland for six years, had mixed feelings during the game. „For me the most important thing is keeping respect in the game. It was very strange for me, cause I know the players so well. When you ask me for the secret moment, I would answer that is was the end of the first set.“

Daniel Castellani was again not happy how his team played in the deciding moments of the match. „Like yesterday, we were unable to use our oppurtunities. That’s why we lost the game. Our performance was ok.“

Finland’s captain Cristian Savani emphasized the importance of the result for his team. „We wanted to create some energy for our last match against France. We won 3-0, so that’s a good effort.“

Mikko Oivanen, Finland’s leading service player and second best scorer (9), was also very disappointed with the result. „We should have won the first set. I guess, that in this case the match would have developed in another way for us. Now we have to win 3-0 against Belgium to stay in the tournament.“