Romanò (16), Galassi (14) and Lavia (15) combined for nine blocking points, more than twice the entire Canadian team's production

Italian blocking power was too much for Canada and despite being pushed to overtime in the third set, the reigning European champions defeated the North Americans in straight sets as the teams started their campaigns at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship 2022 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Saturday.

The Europeans produced as many as 14 blocking points (with all six starters contributing) against just four for the Canadians to secure a 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 39-37) win that had them starting the tournament on the right foot in Pool E.

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Outside hitter Daniele Lavia was one of Italy’s top blockers on the night, tallying four stops against the Canadians. The 22-year-old hitter also produced 14 kills to end the match with 18 points to his name.


Lavia was also in great form offensively, registering 14 kills

Middle blocker Gianluca Galassi also had a solid blocking performance, with four. The 2.01m-tall middlle had six kills and one ace to be one of four Italian players to score in double digits.

Opposite Yuri Romanò, with 13 points (11 kills, one ace, one block), and outside hitter Alessandro Michieletto, with 11 (nine kills, one ace, one block), also ended the match with more than ten points.

“Canada played really well in the third set,” Michieletto commented. “We had some difficulties with their serves and we didn’t serve well on our side. But we’re happy that we managed to win and start the tournament well. We have two other difficult opponents in pool play and will take one match at a time with the goal of continuing to improve.”

Opposite Ryan Sclater was the only Canadian player to reach double digits in the match, with 12 points (11 kills, one ace). Outside hitter Stephen Maar and middle blocker Artur Szwarc came next with six points each.

In the other match of the pool, played earlier on Saturday in Ljubljana, Türkiye counted on a combined total of 36 points from opposite Adis Lagumdzija (19) and outside hitter Burak Gungor (17) to sweep (25-15, 25-19, 25-14) China and share the top spot in the standings with the Italians.

The four Pool E sides will be back on the court on Monday. Canadians and Chinese will play each other at 11.00 local time (9.00 GMT). Türkiye and Italy will clash later at 21.15 local time (19.15 GMT).