Italy overwhelmed France in men's opening volleyball match in Rio 2016
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 7, 2016 – Italy scored an impressive one-side victory over France in straight sets 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-15) to open the men’s volleyball tournament at Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Sunday.
The Italians outclassed their opponents 11-3 in the blocking category with Matteo Piano and Emanuele Birarelli registering three apiece. The winners also dominated in spikes 45-30.
Ivan Zaytsev was the top scorer for the winners with 16 points, followed by Osmany Juantorena and Filippo Lanza who finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively, in the win. Kevin Tillie and Earvin Ngapeth had 8 points apiece for the losers.
Italy began firing up early by taking a 9-0 lead behind the offence started by Juantorena. At 13-5, France began to climb back and came within one-point distance at 20-21 following a spike by Le Roux. A block by Birarelli against Tillie and an ace by Giannelli put Italy in a comfortable position before winning 25-20.
In the second set, Italy took a 4-1 lead behind a pair of spikes by Zaytsev and never looked back. The Italians expanded the gap to 7 points at 20-13 and closed at 25-20 with a soft spike by Zaytzev off the Italian block.
The third set was close in the early going but concluded one-sided 25-15 with a block by Birarelli against Tillie and an ace by Oleg.