Italian Offense, Aussie Defense Lead to #VNL Pool 13 Marathon Wins

  0 Wendy Mayer | June 16th, 2018 | Asian Volleyball, Australian volleyball, European volleyball, FIVB Nations League - Men, International Volleyball, News


  • June 15th-June 17th, 2018
  • Seoul, Korea | Jangchung Arena (Capacity: 4,507)
  • Time Zone: Korea Standard Time (UTC +9)
  • World Rankings: #4 Italy, #16 Australia, #20 China, #21 South Korea
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  • Schedule/Results
Date Time Score Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4 Set 5 Total Report
15 Jun 16:00 China  1–3  Italy 23–25 21–25 25–19 17–25 86–94
15 Jun 19:00 South Korea  1–3  Australia 25–23 19–25 19–25 21–25 84–98
16 Jun 14:00 South Korea  2–3  Italy 23–25 19–25 25–22 25–22 12–15 104–109
16 Jun 17:00 Australia  3–1  China 25–27 41–39 29–27 25–21 120–114


Italy def. South Korea 3-2

  • Italy defeated South Korea 25-23, 25-19, 22-25, 22-25, 15-12
  • Italy moved to 7-4 (21 points); South Korea moved to 0-11 (2 points)

Korea dominated the offensive side of the ball and Italy excelled at the net as the teams tangled in a five-set marathon before the Italians eventually hung on for the victory.

South Korea boasted a 62-47 lead in kills, but Italy countered that with an 18-8 advantage in blocks, a 9-6 edge in aces and six extra points on errors (34-28).

Gabriele Maruotti (15), Guilio Sabbi (15), Simone Anzani (13) and Filippo Lanza (13) led a balanced attack for Italy, each turning in double-digit point tallies. Maruotti and Sabbi notched 11 kills and Lanza added 10 to guide the offense. Sabbi and Davide Candellaro served up two aces apiece, while Anzani paced the team at the net with six blocks to go with six putaways. Maruotti added four stuffs and Gabriele Nelli chipped in three.

Seven Korean played registered seven or more points in the match, with four managing double-digit kill totals. Gyeong-Bok Na led the way with 16 points on 12 kills, three aces and a block. Kyumin Kim (12), Jae-Hwi Kim (12), Kwang-In Jeon (11) and Jae-Duck Seo (10) followed. Kyumin Kim downed 11 kills, while Jeon and Seo added 10 apiece. Seo’s offense all came in the first two sets. Jae-Hwi Kim led the team at the tape with a team-best four blocks.

Here are some post-match reactions.

Italy coach Gianlorenzo Blengini: “It was a difficult match We played well through the first and second set, but our reception was shaken by the strong service of Korea. Korea pushed us well with their serve. We tried to solve the problem through changing the right player with better service-reception so we could win the game.”

Korea coach Kim Hochul: “Besides feeling regretful, I think we should have pushed Italy from the first set. After starting with our best squad, I felt I might lose in straight sets, so I changed the players who were not able to show up until today’s match. The atmosphere changed a lot after the substitution.”

Korea captain Moon Sungmin: “All of the players who played in this game had strong will to give their best. From the third set we did our best until the end. Even though losing the fifth set was depressing, I think we have gained more confidence for the next match.”


Australia def. China 3-1

  • Australia defeated China 25-27, 41-39, 29-27, 25-21
  • Australia moved to 3-8 (9 points); China moved to 2-9 (6 points)

In a match featuring three deuce sets, all in extra points, and decided by just six total points, a 12-kill advantage was the difference in a four-set Australian win.

The Aussies outdid China 67-55 in kills and earned one additional point on errors (38-37). The Chinese were better at the net (16-9 in blocks) and from the service line (6-5 in aces).

Paul Carroll had a breakout match with 31 points (28 kills, 2 aces, 1 block), while Jordan Richards chipped in 23 points (20 kills, 2 aces, 1 block). Nehemiah Mote rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points on seven kills, a team-best four blocks and an ace.

Libin Liu notched 21 points on 13 kills, a match-high seven blocks and an ace to lead China. Daoshuai Ji (17) and Chuanhang Tang (15) followed, each adding double-digit putaways with 12 and 11 respectively. Tang also tacked on four stuffs, while Ji served up a team-high four aces. Twelve Chinese players saw court time in the match with eight scoring at least one point and six putting up a least one block. VNL top scorer Chuan Jiang did not participate in the match.

After dropping the opening set in extra points, the teams battled for 47 minutes in a marathon 41-39 Set 2.

Here are some post-match reactions.

Australia captain Paul Carroll: “Today was a harsh battle. The first three sets might have gone either way. Not often can we say that not a single point or play can change the match. China had the second set. They made an amazing spike and our libero made an amazing defence. Transition of this point brought us to victory. If our libero didn’t save this point, we might have lost today’s match. In the third set they came back with a good blocking plan. They were able to play with their strong block. We are happy that we can come out to win in such a harsh battle.”

China coach Raul Lozano: “Congratulations to Australia. They performed better than us today. I think we played equally in the first three sets. We had opportunities to win the match but could not seize these moments. The big difference was that they were more clever and smarter than us in critical moments.”

China captain Ji Daoshuai: “Congratulations to Australia. It’s such a pity that in some moments we were not able to seize the opportunity especially when the score was tied. I think we didn’t prepare enough to get a victory. This is how the game goes, it can go either way.”

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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