Netherlands ready for third win against Italy this year


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 10, 2016 - The third competition day of the women’s volleyball tournament at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games features an exciting all-European encounter. In an anticipated Pool B match on Wednesday, coach Giovanni Guidetti’s Netherlands will go face-to-face with his native Italy.

The Italian women are still winless in Rio. After losing in straight sets to Serbia, they suffered a 0-3 (21-25, 21-25, 16-25) defeat from China and have yet to win a set at the competition. Paola Ogechi Egonu demonstrated her scoring skills with 22 points against the Asian stronghold, but this did not bring Italy any closer to success.

“Every time we lose a point, our game goes down, but we have to forget about these two losses and try to continue to play better. We have to concentrate more, especially on our serve,” commented Italy’s captain Antonella Del Core.

The Dutch squad, on the other hand, is becoming “the talk of the tournament” after playing two thrilling five-setters in Rio so far. Overcoming China on Saturday, the Netherlands stood up to world champions USA on Monday, but could not capitalize on the one-set advantage they had on two occasions, eventually going down with a 2-3 (25-18, 18-25, 25-21, 20-25, 8-15) loss. Lonneke Sloetjes shone as the best scorer of the match with 22 points.

Despite the loss, Giovanni Guidetti’s team built up confidence. “I am satisfied with our performance and I am confident we can play against any team in the world right now,” the Italian coach of the Oranges said.

Having beaten Italy already twice this year, the Dutch may be considered the slight favourites before the match on Wednesday. The Netherlands achieved a 3-1 (19-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-22) away victory at Italy in an FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix encounter on June 18 in Bari. The two teams also met at the World Olympic Qualification tournament in Tokyo on May 20. A 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-14) Dutch win was the result of that match.


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