Going into the match, neither Italy (5-6) nor Korea (1-10) had a chance of winning Pool C and advancing to the World League Final Round. Nevertheless, they both played with intensity.
Ivan Zaytsev led Italy with 20 points on 16 attacks, three blocks and one ace. Korea’s Kwang-In Jeon led his team with 20 points on a match-high 19 attacks and one block. Alessandro Fei had a match-high six blocks for Italy and Italy’s Christian Savani scored on a match-high four aces.
Italy came out firing and led 8-5 at the first technical timeout and increased that to 16-10 at the second. Korea never rallied. Ivan Zaytsev scored six points for Italy in the first set while Kwang–In Jeon had four for Korea. Korea led in spikes, 10-8, but Italy led in blocks, 3-1, and aces, 1-0. Italy scored 13 points on Korean errors.
Italy led 7-6 in the second set when Korea scored six straight points, including two attacks and a block along with three Italy errors. Savani ended the run with an attack, but Italy never led again. The European side pulled to within one at 17-16, but Korea answered with three straight points, including an attack and two Italy errors, to lead 20-16. Korea reached set point at 24-20 and won the match when an Italian spike went long. Korea scored on 10 Italy team errors while committing only four.
The third set was tied at 13-13 when Italy scored twice to go up 15-13. The Asian side kept the score close, but Italy pulled away at the end of the set. Italy led in spikes, 16-12, in blocks, 3-2, and in aces 2-0.
Korea led 20-16 in the fourth set when Italy called timeout and got the ball back on a Lasko kill. It went on to score three more points on an attack, ace and block to tie the score at 20-20. The teams battled back and forth. Korea reached set point first at 24-23, but then tied the score with a service error. Korea reached set point three more times, but each time Italy tied. At 27-27, Korea’s Jeong-Hwan Kim scored with an attack and Hong-Suk Choi sent another spike off Italy’s block to win the set.
Italy came out firing in the tie-breaker and grabbed a 4-2 lead. Korea called timeout, but Italy scored four more points behind the serving of Travica, who had an ace in the run that gave the European side an 8-2 lead at the side change. Korea pulled to within three at 12-9, but Italy reached match point at 14-10. Korea scored twice on an Italy service error and a tip before Italy’s Giorgio De Togni won it with an attack.