Italy power to three-set win against the Netherlands in Catania


Catania, Italy, August 4, 2019 – Italy were victorious against the Netherlands on their home court, as the all-European clash in the Tokyo Volleyball Qualification Tournament in Catania saw the hosts claim the ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Both teams had not dropped a set in their matches against Kenya and Belgium in the last two days.

Kenya - Belgium (August 4, 2019) 

• Kenya and Belgium meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• This is also the first encounter between the nations in major world level tournaments (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World Grand Prix, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).

• Kenya lost both of their Olympic qualifying matches in Catania this weekend, straight-set defeats against both Italy and Netherlands.
• Kenya scored 41 total points against Italy and 37 against Netherlands.
• Kenya's last win in a Olympic qualifying tournament was a 3-1 victory against Algeria in 2016.
• Sharon Chepchumba Kiprono was Kenya's top scorer against both Italy (8 points) and Netherlands (8).

• Belgium are out of contention in the qualifying group in Catania after straight-sets defeats against Netherlands and Italy.
• Belgium have never competed in women's indoor volleyball at the Olympic Games.
• Kaja Grobelna led her team in scoring against Italy on 10 points.
• Grobelna scored Belgium's only two stuff block points against Italy, and one of two aces. The other ace point was scored by Silke Van Avermaet.

Netherlands – Italy (August 4, 2019)

• Netherlands and Italy met three times in the last six world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2016).
• Netherlands defeated Italy in 1996 (3-1) and in 2016 (3-0). Italy prevailed in 2000 (3-2). Netherlands qualified in 1996 and 2016, while Italy achieved a ticket in 2000 and 2016.
• Netherlands and Italy both won nine times in their 18 encounters at major world level (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World Grand Prix, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• Italy won the last two world level meetings with Netherlands, 3-2 in the 2018 Volleyball Nations League and 3-1 in the 2019 Volleyball Nations League. Netherlands' last world level victory over Italy came at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (3-0).
• Netherlands lead the head-to-head with Italy at the European championships with 10 wins to nine.

• Netherlands come into this decider with two straight-sets wins to their name, against Belgium and Kenya.
• Netherlands participated in the Olympic Games on three occasions. They improved on their result in each of those Games: sixth in 1992, fifth in 1996 and fourth in 2016.
• The Dutch had 12 different point scorers in their victory over Kenya. All non-liberos scored at least once. Celeste Plak (12), Lonneke Slöetjes (11) and Robin De Kruijf (10) reached double figures in scoring.
• All 14 Dutch players played against Kenya on Saturday.

• Italy won both of their matches against Kenya and Belgium without dropping a set.
• Italy conceded only 41 points in their match against Kenya and 49 points in their match against Belgium.
• Italy competed five times in the Olympic Games, all in the last five editions. Their best results are joint-fifth places in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
• Paola Ogechi Egonu was top scorer for Italy against Kenya (15 points) and Belgium (18). She had four serve winners in both matches.
• Lucia Bosetti scored three stuff block points for Italy against Belgium, most of all players in that match.