Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 11, 2016 - The team of Italy, still winless in Pool B of the women’s volleyball tournament at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, will present the next challenge to USA, which are still unbeaten in the competition.
The Americans lead the current Pool B standings with three wins and eight points. They are now sure to advance to the quarterfinals, but will be looking to keep on winning in order to stay in pole position.
On the other hand, the Italians have not won a single set so far and are fifth in the standings with better set point ratio than bottom-placed Puerto Rico. The southern European squad has lost any hope of progressing into the knockout stage, but will be chasing a more dignified exit from Rio.
Italy and USA have met 31 times in major international competitions and the balance is slightly tilted in favour of the North Americans, who have won 16 of these games.
They have met at Olympic Games only once before. In a Beijing 2008 quarterfinal on August 19, USA persevered for a 3-2 (20-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-18, 15-6) win.
USA also won the last two meetings with Italy, both by 3-1 in last year’s FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix, first in Ankara, Turkey on July 3, 2015 and then at the Group 1 finals at home in Omaha 20 days later.
So far in Rio, USA started with a straight-set win against Puerto Rico, then managed a five-set victory over the Netherlands and defeated Serbia by 3-1.
The Italians lost in straight sets to Serbia, China and the Netherlands, in that order.