Cavalese, Italy, May 17, 2016 – Australia beat Italy 3-2 (25-21, 25-18, 26-28, 23-25, 15-12) in the first match of the season for the Italians who were missing several regular players.
The Australians by contrast are fully into their preparation for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Japan that starts on May 28.
Roberto Santilli’s Volleyroos raced into 2-0 lead before Italy clawed their way back into the game, taking the third and fourth sets 28-26 and 25-23. In the fifth set, the Australians made fewer mistakes than the Italians and took the set and the match.
Thomas Edgar was the top scorer in the match with 27 points. Italy were led by Giulio Sabbi with 15 points.
Italy coach Gianlorenzo Blengini commented: “The performance was as expected with the two teams in different physical and athletic condition. Today, I used some guys like Giannelli and Sabbi who arrived a couple of days ago and others who have been here for longer. The preparation is proceeding according to different schedules. Now, we are just at the beginning of a season that will take us to the Olympic Games. There’s plenty of time to work everything out.”
Simone Giannelli said: “Clearly this defeat is not such a big thing at this time. We are just starting out. After a while, we recovered a bit in the game but then we let it go in the final set. That’s too bad, but we’ll be back on court tomorrow and we’ll see what happens then.”