Great Britain, playing in front of a vocal home crowd, started brightly, with Ciara Michel and Lynne Beattie grounding spikes. But Italy was ruthless. Antonella Del Core and Carolina Costagrande hit clinical winners to put them in front. Janine Sandell and Grace Carter helped Great Britain level at 22-22, but after the hosts saved two set points, Italy’s bombardment finally broke them and the Italians took the set 27-25.
Italy was by far the stronger side in the second set. Lucia Bosetti and Simona Gioli joined Costagrande in hitting winners for Italy. Great Britain worked hard and Beattie stood out, but they lacked the defensive qualities shown by Italy’s libero Paola Croce. Italy won the set easily, 25-12.
The Italian dominance continued in the third set, as Del Core, Costagrande, Bosetti and Gioli fired home numerous spikes. As the world No.69 ranked side, Great Britain simply didn’t have enough quality to compete with the world No.4 and winners of the 2011 FIVB World Cup who shut out the set 25-12 to win the match.
Unbeaten Italy will play Algeria in the fourth round of preliminary matches on Friday, while Great Britain, who have lost two and won one, face the Dominican Republic.