Italy sent Argentina to the Men’s Nations League (VNL) quarter-finals on Wednesday (19) with a 3-sets 0 win of 25-17, 25-13 and 25-24. Micheletto was the tournament’s leading scorer with 14 goals, while Loser was Argentina’s top scorer with 10 goals.
Italy’s first set was improbable. Playing the same team as the world champions, the Italians were aggressive on serve, forcing Argentina into more errors. With the opposition break down, the Italian block lay low and the Argentine rolled over the attacker with a perfect mark. Working side-out, Italy was in the first set: 25-17.
In the second set, the pedaling was heavy. Flawless in the serve-block system, Gianelli distributed the game expertly and the Italian side-out continued with high efficiency. In turn, Argentina continued to struggle, unable to adjust their reception and stabilize the ball turn. And with little to do on the court, the opposition pounced. Micheletto was the area’s top scorer with 6 points and Italy went 2 x 0 in the match 25-13.
The third set was similar to the previous set. With Argentina apathetic on the court, Marcelo Mendes rotated the players with his presence on the bench, but it was not enough to counter the high-volume Italian play. With 9 block points and 5 aces in the match, the Italians went 25-14 in the third to finish the match 0 in 3 sets.
With the win, Italy will face the USA in the semi-finals of the VNL next Saturday (22), at 12:00pm Brasilia-TF time. America defeated France earlier. The other semi-finals will be decided this Thursday (20) with Japan x Slovenia and Poland x Brazil.
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