Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 9, 2016 - Two very strong teams will cross ways on the second competition day of the men’s volleyball tournament at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In a Pool A fixture, Italy will meet USA at the Maracanazinho on Tuesday. The two sides were on the opposite end of success in their first matches in Brazil, but will be equally looking for the victory as they measure up to each other.
The Italians made a fantastic start at the Games, with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-15) masterpiece against their strong neighbours from France. Italian opposite Ivan Zaytsev was the best scorer of that game with 16 points. “This win makes me really feel confident about the next match,” Zaytsev said. “We had a great start at the Olympics and we look forward to the game against USA. We have to approach it step by step.”
The United States also had a meeting with their neighbours, but came out of it with a surprising 0-3 (23-25, 17-25, 23-25) upset. Top scorer Mathew Anderson’s 15-point performance did not suffice for a victorious outcome. “I am disappointed. I don’t think we played well from the service line and had a lot of issues on our side of the net,” coach John Speraw commented, hoping things will be different for the matches to come.
In the most recent official match between Italy and USA, the southern European squad managed a 3-1 (25-22, 27-25, 26-28, 25-21) victory on July 14 at the FIVB Volleyball World League 2016 finals in Krakow, Poland. Earlier in the same competition, the North Americans had achieved a 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-23) win against the home side in Rome on June 26. The game between these two teams at FIVB Volleyball World Cup 2015 on September 12 in Hiroshima, Japan, also finished with a straight-set victory for the United States – 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 29-27).