VNL: Italy ends Japan's unbeaten streak in morale-boosting victory | Inquirer Sports

VNL: Italy ends Japan’s unbeaten streak in morale-boosting victory

/ 09:55 PM July 08, 2023

Yuri Romano Japan Italy VNL

Italy’s Yuri Romano against Japan in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL). –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Italy gained a confidence booster in the biggest way possible after league-leading Japan, 29-27, 28-26, 23-25, 25-20, in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Saturday night.

After ten straight wins in the VNL, Ryujin Nippon bowed to the Italians in a competitive four-setter and Yuri Romano saw it as a huge source of confidence heading forward.

“We have a lot of confidence [now], we even improved during the game… It’s a very good win for us,” Romano said after finishing with 22 points.

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“It’s (win) very amazing, it was a great match and we played very well. Japan is a very strong team so we’re very happy.”

The Italians’ 2-0 lead did not come easy with the extended first and second sets before the Japanese showed signs of life to force a fourth set.

Italy Japan VNL volleyball

Italy celebrates a point against Japan in the Volleyball Nations League (VNL). –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

With the score knotted up at 19-all, Yuji Nishida became Ryujin Nippon’s hero that began a set-winning 6-4 blitz courtesy of a successful crosscourt kill.

The final set, however, was all Italy. And this time, it was the Italians that pulled away from a 19-all deadlock to seal the victory.

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Gianluca Galassi, Daniele Lavia and Romano took matters into their own hands, scoring the last six points for Italy while holding the Japanese to only a point.

Lavia and Alessandro Michieletto registered 18 and 14 points, respectively, for Italy, which now holds a 9-3 record.

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Yuki Ishikawa collected 21 markers for Japan while Nishida tallied 20 to his name in a losing effort.

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TAGS: Italy, Japan, Volleyball Nations League (VNL)

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