Source: Press TV
The Iran men's national volleyball team has started off its campaign at the 2017 Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Volleyball World League with a bitter loss to Italy. The Azzurri sealed an emphatic win in the first week of the tournament by defeating Iran 3-0 (25-22, 25-23 and 25-22) in a Pool A1 match played at the Adriatic Arena in Pesaro city, on the eastern side of central Italy.
The home side looked confident and strong-minded as they came out on the
court. The hosts slammed fine spikes and blocked the ball well as the visitors
were battling to garner points.
The Italians took an early lead over the Persians at last, and entered the first technical time-out 8-6.
The Iranians then made well-taken attempts and tied the match at 11-all, before calling for a technical timeout.
The Italians then availed themselves of the Iranians' individual mistakes to surge ahead, and led 16-13 at the second technical timeout.
The Azzurri finally closed out the first set at 25-22.
Both teams were fighting point by point at the start of the second set, and Persians led 4-3.
Later on, Italy's 23-year-old Luigi Randazzo brought the hosts to 6-4 with a great spike.
The visitors sought to reverse the course then and tied up 13-13. It was the Italian team that powered through and won the set 25-23 at the end.
Even though Iran led 4-1 at the start of the third set, Italy did not give up and Luca Vettori drew level on points.
The visitors put up an effective defense in the other minutes of the third set, and led 16-14 at the second technical timeout.
The Italians took up the last remaining opportunities afterward, and finished the set 25-22.
"We knew it would be tough, because playing against Italy is never easy. They served really well, even though sometimes they were helped by the net," Iran's head coach Igor Kolakovic said in the post-match news conference.
"Anyway, they deserved it, because they were able to stay focused even in the most difficult moments. Congratulations to them," he added.
"I also want to thank all the supporters that came here for us. We hope to play better and to be a little luckier tomorrow," Kolakovic concluded.
"Victories are always important, not just for the score or for the ranking, but because they give energy to the team and they confirm the work that has been done during the trainings. The team showed character and high level of volleyball. There are many things to be improved, but it is a good start. We always try to do our best," Italy's head coach Gianlorenzo Blengini commented.
The Iran men's national volleyball team is scheduled to meet Brazil in Pesaro on Saturday.
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