Bottolo and Romanò carry Italy to their first VNL win

Bottolo and Romanò carry Italy to their first VNL win
Fecha de publicación: 
10 June 2023
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After consecutive upsets in their first two matches, reigning world champions Italy found their best rhythm and claimed their first victory in the Volleyball Nations League 2023 on Friday, in Ottawa, Canada.

Following defeats to Argentina and the United States, the European champions displayed progress against VNL rookies Cuba and triumphed 3-1 (25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 25-18) at the TD Place, in the Canadian capital.

Two of the five world champions present in the Italian roster this week in Ottawa, Mattia Bottolo and Yuri Romanò led the team’s offense in their first victory in the VNL 2023. The two left the court with 17 points, with the 23-year-old outside hitter getting 15 kills, one ace and one block and the 25-year-old opposite producing 15 kills and two aces.

“It’s a wonderful celebration for us,” Bottolo commented. “This was a key match for us and, after two tough losses, we needed this victory. We wanted to prove we can compete at this level. We all wanted to contribute today and I’m glad I got to help the team win. It was a great match for us and tomorrow we’ll have another one. After getting the first win, we just want to keep winning.”

Cuba had three players reaching double digits in scoring, with outside hitters Miguel Ángel López and Marlon Yant registering 14 and 11 points respectively and middle blocker Javier Concepcion adding another ten.

The efficiency of the Italian offense provided the difference the Europeans needed to top Cuba as they scored 52 points from kills to Cuba’s 41. The two teams were pretty similar in everything else, with the winners doing slightly better in aces (five to three) and opponent errors (30 to 29) and the Cubans getting more blocking points (nine to eight).

Italians and Cubans will both conclude their schedules in Ottawa on Saturday, with the Europeans facing Germany at 13:00 local time (17:00 UTC) and the Caribbean meeting Brazil at 16:30 local time (20:30 UTC). The third and final match of the day will feature the NORCECA duel between hosts Canada and the United States, at 20:00 local time (00:00 UTC, Sunday).

Earlier on Friday, the Netherlands overcame continental rivals Germany with a 3-0 (25-20, 33-31, 25-21) victory. Outside hitter Maarten Van Garderen was the match’s top scorer with 21 points, followed by star opposite Nimir Abdel-Aziz, with 14. Outside hitter Moritz Reichert tallied 12 points for Germany.

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