On the other side, the young Czech talents experienced their fourth defeat here in Ankara. Italian Wing-spiker Miriam Sylla topped all the scorers with 16 points. Italy had nine block kills while Czech Republic only had three.
Italy made a solid start into the first period (8-3). The “squadra azzurra” dominated their rivals in almost all aspects of the game to book a quite easy first set win (25-20). In the second set, the Czechs bounced back valiantly to turn around the tables until the second technical break (16-14). Italian head coach Marco Mencarelli called his players off court at 19-21 to have a serious talk. It worked as the Italians fired back to take a hard-earned 2:0 set lead (25-22). That was too much for the young Czech girls. Stanislav Mitac’s squad totally lost confidence and concentration in the third set. Miriam Sylla finished the match with a remarkable attack to crash the East Europeans 25-7 (!).
Italian head coach Marco Mencarelli: “I am very surprised how we alternate good and bad moments in the same match. Our girls are very emotional. We were very close to losing the second set, but granted our opponents only seven points in the third period.”
Czech coach Stanislav Mitac: “In the first and second set we played at our best level. But then we suddenly stopped playing. There is a difference between the Czech Republic and teams like Germany, Russia, Italy and Poland. I hope tomorrow we can win against Bulgaria.”