21. 06. 2019

VNL 2019 M: Italy sweep Serbia despite playing without top scorer Nelli, Poland beat Argentina in thriller

Source: volleyball.world; Photo: volleyball.world

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Italy victoriously opened Week 4 of the 2019 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League in front of own crowd in Milano.


Italy recorded the fourth successive win (8-2; 24 points) in the 2019 VNL, coming within an inch of qualifying to the Final Six in Chicago, United States.

In front of own crowd at the Palalido, a renewed hall in Milano, the “Azzurri“ swept Serbia, the rivals in the Qualifications for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in August, by a 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-22) in Pool 14. By suffering a defeat today, Serbia (5-5; 13 points) failed to set a new team consecutive VNL victories record of six.

Oleg Antonov top-scored for Italy with 14 points (4 kill blocks), while Simone Giannelli served 4 aces and had as much as 8 attempts in attack (made 5) which is quite a large number for a setter. He finished the match as the second best scorer of his team (10 points). Italy’s head coach Gianlorenzo Blengini left the team’s best scorer in the Preliminary Round, Gabriele Nelli (157 points) and best blocker Simone Anzani (14 kill blocks), out of the roster for Week 4.

Petar Krsmanović was Serbia’s most prolific player with 10 points. You will not often see the middle blocker as the top scorer of some team in a single match, especially if only one of those points came from the block.


In the same pool, Poland had a 2-0 sets lead and 22:18 in the third set against Argentina. But, instead of a straight-set win, an almost three-hour thriller occurred, ending with a 3-2 victory of a European side.

Even in a tie-break, Poland was forced to defend two match points before recording a 28th win over Argentina at major world level tournaments (Argentina prevailed in 6).

Maciej Muzaj highlighted Poland (6-4; 17 points) with 15 points, while Norbert Huber made 4 kill blocks. Facundo Conte from Argentina (4-6; 13 points) scored game-high 19 points.

2019 FIVB Men’s Volleyball Nations League, Week 4 – Day 1:

Pool 13 (Hoffman Estates, United States):

Canada – China, June 22

USA- Japan, June 22

Pool 14 (Milano, Italy):

Poland – Argentina 3-2 (25-21, 25-23, 25-27, 20-25, 19-17)

Italy – Serbia 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-22)

Pool 15 (Ardabil, Iran):

France – Australia 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-22)

Iran – Portugal 3-1 (23-25, 27-25, 25-17, 25-18)

Pool 16 (Cuiabá, Brazil):

Germany – Russia, 23:00 C.E.T.

Brazil – Bulgaria, June 22


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I have seen taller Indian women (Maldives). I guess none of them showed up at the court. You know you are in trouble when you are spiking up instead of down. Reply

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