VNL: Italy overcomes the Dominican at the tie break

Compared to the debut with Serbia, Italy started with Malinov in directing, Degradi and Guerra as spikers, Danesi and Chirichella central, Nwakalor opposite and De Gennaro free. The blue took a few exchanges to pick up pace while the Dominican Republic found an offensive reference in Brayelin Martinez. Danesi first and then Malinov, however, kept the blues well in the wake, leading the way to the overtaking signed by Degradi and two consecutive mistakes by the opponents (12-9). The blue attack suffered some empty passes while on the other side of the net Gonzalez Lopez and Brayelin Martinez (14-15) took the pace. Italy struggled and not a little to find points with Nwakalor and Guerra while the Dominicans continued to defend and block well going to the scoresheet with an irrepressible Martinez (18-18). Once the right measures were taken, and after having suffered a last attempt at a Dominican comeback (23-23), the blues managed to bring home the first set with two decisive plays by Nwakalor (25-23).

The plot of the match did not change when the game resumed: the Dominican Republic continued to find good defenses and precise attacks with Martinez and Pena. Then when Mars also began to sting at the service and subnet, Italy found itself under 5-9. In the moment of difficulty the blues got answers from Degradi (hands out, block and ace) to mend the gap despite the good plays on the opposite side by Pena and Gonzalez Lopez (9-10). Italy, however, did not continue in forcing, allowing too many errors in attack and reception. Gonzalez Lopez, Martinez and Pena started to pick up pace and Italy, despite some good plays by Chirichella, Guerra and Nwakalor, found themselves under 13-22. The entries into the field of Bonifacio, Lubian and Bosio reversed the trend (break of 5-0 by the blues) but failed to complete the comeback with the Dominicans who then closed the second set with a block from Mambru (20-25) . In the third set the coach Mazzanti gave confidence to Bosio and Bonifacio getting good responses in attack also from Guerra and Nwakalor (8-6). The Dominicans continued to lengthen every exchange with great defenses but the Italy of an effective Nwakalor and a solid Chircihella took off (18-11) frustrating the plays of the Dominican central Geraldine Gonzalez. The blues no longer let themselves be surprised (last flashes of Dominguez, Pena and Peralta) closing the accounts with the attack on the center of Bonifacio (25-19).

The start of the fourth set was a Dominican brand: Jinery, Geraldine and Brayelin Martinez pushed the Dominican Republic on 7-10. On 7-11 the coach Mazzanti played the Egonu card, initially kept at rest, but the contribution of the blue opposite (immediately 1 winning attack) was not enough to keep up with the wild Martinez and Pena who managed to lead the match at the tiebreak (16-25).

In the fifth set Paola Egonu was unleashed: the blue opposite scored 3 points to pick up the pace (7-4), scratching the convictions of the Dominicans. Egonu with Bosetti and Bonifacio placed the decisive break (13-8) which allowed the girls of the coach Davide Mazzanti to close the match (15-12).


Davide Mazzanti (Italy Manager) – « On many things we struggled we chose the attacking shots badly and we carried this throughout the game. Then they defended a lot in a game made up of many counterattacks with their forwards who did excellent things while we struggled with high ball and made choices that were not always good. The victory, however, was fundamental because we are returning from the Ankara Pool where we have obtained two successes and in a Final key it becomes important to achieve a result. It was certainly a painful victory, certainly we still lack game rhythm because we struggled to stay in the game. We need to recover because we play early and we need to be ready for Germany. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is but how we approach the match because now it is essential to know how to manage mental and physical energies ».

Anastasia Guerra (Italy) – « It was important to bring home the result – said the Azzurri spiker – at the moment we lack the race pace and the amalgamation. Tomorrow we return to play and this is perhaps a good thing even if there is a lot to do in the next few days to improve our game. The Dominicans did well in defense and then they were very good in offensive choices. We, on the other hand, were not very incisive but I repeat, in a match like this, the important thing is to have brought home the result. Now we have to reset immediately, rest well and then approach the next match with Germany well “.

Sara Bonifacio (Italy) – « The Dominican Republic played very well making the game very hard we struggled in attack and this gave morale to our opponents who were doing very well. Then we settled down finding rhythm in attack and then we managed to get to the top of a game that put us in very serious difficulty. We all want to play and give our contribution in a very close competition like the VNL. Tomorrow there is Germany and we will have to be good at rest and restart to face Germany in the best possible way ».


ITALY – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 3-2 (25-23; 20-25; 25-19; 16-25; 15-12)

ITALY: Guerra 18, Chirichella 6, Malinov 3, Degradi 10, Danesi 3, Nwakalor 10, De Gennaro (Libero), Lubian, Bonifacio 9, Bosio, Fersino, Bosetti 4, Egonu 8. NE: Sylla. Herds Mazzanti

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Pena 19, Gonzalez G. 7, Gonzalez Lopez 16, Martinez J. 11, Martinez B. 16, Marte 3, Martinez Y. (Libero), Peralta 3, Dominguez, Mambru 1, Guillen. NE: Rabit, Hinojosa and Martinez L. All. Kwiek

REFEREES: Ivanov Ivaylo (Bul) and Rene Karina Noemi (Arg)

Duration: 30 ‘, 33’, 26 ‘, 24’,

Spectators: 2300

Italy: a 2, bs 12, m 13, et 14.

Dominican Republic: a 4, bs 16, m 9, et 12.


First day

Netherlands – Germany 1-3 (20-25; 19-25; 25-12; 22-25)

Italy 3-1 Serbia (21-25; 25-14; 25-15; 25-20)

Second day

Dominican Rep. – South Korea 3-0 (25-21; 25-17; 25-13)

Brazil 3-1 Turkey (19-25; 25-23; 25-23; 25-23)

Third day

Serbia 3-0 South Korea (40-38; 25-22; 25-22)

Italy – Dominican Rep. 3-2 (25-23; 20-25; 25-19; 16-25; 15-12)

Netherlands – Brazil (to be played)


First day

Canada 0-3 Thailand (19-25; 22-25; 24-26)

Japan 3-0 Poland (25-21; 25-21; 25-21)

Second day

Bulgaria – USA 0-3 (20-25; 22-25; 20-25)

China 3-0 Belgium (25-19; 25-22; 25-14)

Third day

Poland – Thailand 3-2 (22-25; 27-29; 25-16; 25-16; 15-13)

Canada – Belgium 3-1 (25-22; 25-21; 22-25; 25-22)

Bulgaria 0-3 Japan (20-25; 16-25; 23-25)


Week 2 (Brasilia, Brazil)

June 16: Serbia – South Korea at 20:00

June 16: Italy-Rep. Dominican at 11.00 pm (live Sky Sport 1 and streaming NOW)

June 17: Holland – Brazil at 02:00

June 17: Germany – Italy at 20:00 (live Sky Sport 1 and streaming NOW)

June 17: Serbia – Turkey at 11.00 pm

June 18: Holland – Dominican Republic at 02:00

June 18: Italy – Brazil at 20:00 (live Sky Sport 1 and streaming NOW)

June 18: Germany – Turkey at 11.00 pm

June 19: Holland – South Korea at 02:00

June 19: Brazil – Serbia at 15:00

June 19: Germany – Dominican Rep. 6:00 pm

* Italian timetables


Week 2 (Quezon City, Philippines)

June 16: Poland – Thailand at 05:00

June 16: Canada – Belgium at 09:00

June 16: Bulgaria – Japan at 1:00 pm

June 17: Poland – USA at 05:00

June 17: China – Canada at 09:00

June 17: Japan – Thailand at 1:00 pm

June 18: Bulgaria – Canada at 05:00

June 18: Belgium – Poland at 09:00

June 18: USA – China at 1:00 pm

June 19: Bulgaria – Belgium at 05:00

June 19: Thailand – USA at 09:00

June 19: Japan – China at 1:00 pm

* Italian timetables


Japan 6 wins (17 pt), China 4 wins (13 pt), USA 4 wins (12 pt), Brazil 4 wins (12 pt), Serbia 4 wins (12 pt), Thailand 4 wins (11 pt), Italy 4 wins (11 pts)Poland 4 wins (10 pt), Turkey 3 wins (9 pt), Canada 3 wins (9 pt), Germany 2 wins (8 pt) Dominican Republic 1 victory (4 pt), Belgium 1 victory (2 pt), Bulgaria 1 victory (2 pt), Netherlands 0 victories (2 pt), South Korea 0 victories (0 pt).

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