Zaytsev’s 32 Points Lift Italy Past #1 Brazil; Serbia Tops Germany 3-1

  0 Wendy Mayer | May 26th, 2018 | Brazilian Volleyball, European volleyball, FIVB Nations League - Men, International Volleyball, News, South American Volleyball


  • May 25-27, 2018
  • Kraljevo Sports Hall, Kraljevo, Serbia (Capacity: 3,331)
  • Time Zone: GMT + 2 (US Eastern Time +6)
  • World Rankings: #1 Brazil, #4 Italy, #10 Germany, #11 Serbia
  • Preview
  • Schedule/Results


Italy def. Brazil 3-2

  • Italy defeated Brazil 18-25, 25-19, 25-21, 24-26, 15-8
  • Italy moved to 2-0 (5 points); Brazil moved to 1-1 (4 points)

Italy served up 14 aces and put up 12 blocks, while Ivan Zaytsev racked up a tournament-best 32 points to lift the team past World #1 Brazil in five sets on Saturday.

Italy outdid Brazil in kills (61-57), blocks (12-6) and aces (14-7) to overcome 29 miscues in the match.

Zaytsev notched 26 kills, a team-best four blocks and two aces to guide the Italians. Osmany Juantorena and Luigi Randazzo joined Zaytsev with double-digit scoring efforts, turning in 17 and 13 respectively. Juantorena downed 13 kills and added two blocks and two aces, while Randazzo chipped in 11 kills and two aces. Simone Giannelli and Gabriele Nelli led the team from the service line with three aces apiece.

Mauricio Silva (14), Evandro Guerra (13) and Lucas Saatkamp (11) turned in double-digit point efforts to lead Brazil, but it was not enough. Silva tallied 14 kills, while Guerra added 12. Saatkamp chipped in six kills, three aces and two blocks. Wallace DeSouza posted eight putaways, while Luiz Fonteles added seven.

After missing out on an opportunity to close out the match in Set 4, Italy dominated the decisive fifth set, capping the win on a reverse one-handed tip shot by Giannelli. The Italians surged ahead 8-3 behind Zaytsev and Juantorena and never looked back en route to the upset.

Brazilian coach Renan Dal Zotto switched up his lineup in the match, putting four new starters from Friday on the court, but the team did not miss a beat, cruising to a 25-18 Set 1 victory.

Italy turned the tables in Set 2 with Zaytsev starring and Juantorena earning the final kill as a touch was awarded in a challenge.

Brazil led early in Set 2, but a string of aces by Zaytsev put Italy on top 13-10. Nelli followed with three aces of his own which lifted Italy to the 25-21 win and a 2-1 lead in the match.

Dal Zotto went back to his match 1 starters to try to save the day and it worked momentarily, but Italy rallied and thwarted a pair of set point attempts, before falling 26-24 after the Brazilian block showed its colors.


Serbia def. Germany 3-1

  • Serbia defeated Germany 19-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-14
  • Serbia moved to 1-1 (3 points); Germany moved to 0-2 (0 points)

Drazen Luburic and Uros Kovacevic teamed up to lead Serbia to a four-set victory over Germany.

Luburic pounded down 18 kills and served up three aces to score a match-high 21 points, while Kovacevic added in 14 kills, two blocks and an ace (17 points). Marko Ivovic (12) and Srecko Lisinac also were key in the victory with nine kills and a match-high four blocks respectively.

Daniel Malescha (11) and David Sossenheimer (10) guided Germany with double-digit scoring efforts. Sossenheimer downed a team-leading nine kills, while Malescha followed with seven kills and three blocks. Marcus Bohme chimed in with four kills and two aces. Simon Hirsch managed six kills in just over a set of work.

Serbia held the advantage in kills (50-40), blocks (11-9) and aces (9-6).


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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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