The U.S. complete pool play with a 9-3 record for 26 points while Italy finished at 5-7 and 15 points. The Americans finished two points ahead of France, who also had a 9-3 record.
U.S. opposite Clay Stanley led all scorers with 25 points on a match-high 23 attacks and two blocks. Ivan Zaytsev paced Italy with 21 points on 18 attacks, one block and two aces. The U.S. led Italy in blocks 18-11, and aces 3-2. Italy led in attacks 67-64.
The score was tied 6-6 in the first set when Italy used a Fei spike and ace by Zaytsev to lead 8-6 at the first technical timeout. With Italy leading 12-10, the U.S. scored on attacks from Stanley and Lee to tie the score. The U.S. used Italy’s hitting error and a block to lead 15-13, but Italy tied the score at 19-19. With the score tied 20-20, the U.S. got a block and an Italy hitting error to lead. A Stanley attack made it 23-20. The U.S. reached set point at 24-21, but Italy scored with an attack and two blocks from Fei to tie the score. The United States took set point two more times but could not convert. Italy reached set point at 27-26 on a Zaytsev attack and won the set on a spike by Lasko.
With the score tied 6-6 in the second set, Stanley scored with an attack, Italy hit into the net and Holmes added a spike to give the U.S. a 9-6 lead. Italy came back to tie the score at 10-10 on two straight attacks. The U.S. led 16-13 at the second technical timeout and extended the lead to 19-13. Italy pulled to within three at 21-18, but a Stanley block kept the U.S. ahead. The U.S. reached set point at 24-20 on an attack from Holmes. The U.S. won the set on a block by Smith who was brought in as a substitute for Suxho.
The score was tied 6-6 in the third set when Italy scored on a Zaytsev attack and U.S. hitting error to lead 8-6 at the first technical timeout. Italy tied the score at 8-8 and took a 12-9 lead on attacks by Lasko, Zaytsev and Fei. The U.S. called timeout and came back to tie the score on a Rooney attack, Italy net violation and block from Holmes and Anderson. The teams battled back and forth. Italy reached set point first at 24-23 on a Fei strike. Anderson tied it with an attack for the U.S. Zaytsev came back with a tip to give Italy its second set point and Lasko won it for Italy on an attack.
Italy led 9-8 in the third set when it served out of bounds and the U.S. came back with three straight points, including a Rooney spike, to lead 12-9. The U.S. still led by three at the second technical timeout. The U.S. extended the lead to 21-15 and reached set point at 24-16 on a Rooney attack. The next U.S. serve went into the net, but Rooney won the set with an attack, ensuring the United States of the pool victory.
The score was tied 4-4 in the tie-breaker when Italy scored on a U.S. hitting error and Parodi attack to lead 6-4. The U.S. came back with a 4-0 run including an ace by Holmes and blocks from Rooney and Lee, to lead 8-6 at the side change. The U.S. reached match point at 14-9. Italy scored on a U.S. violation before Anderson won the match for the U.S. with a back-row attack.