Italy beat Australia 3-1 in their opening 2015 World League game on Friday.
Adelaide, Australia, May 2015, 2015 - Home favourites Australia were able to win their first set in their sixth World League match against Italy, but a solid all round performance was enough to give Italy a 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-21, 25-20) victory at the Adelaide Arena.Both teams started the match erratically and for the better part of the first set Italy held only a narrow lead. However, after the second technical time-out the visitors were able to assert their supremacy thanks in a large part to the powerful spikes and serves from Oleg Antonov. The second set saw both teams trading the lead before great blocking and defence gave Italy a three-point margin at 18-15. The Volleyroos did not give up, though. Spurred on by the home crowd and booming spikes from Thomas Edgar Australia took a 21-20 lead. In an exciting finish to the set two aces in a row from Samuel Walker helped Australia tie things up at one set all. Team Italy started the next set visibly motivated and raced out to a 10-5 lead. The rest of the set saw the home team playing catch-up, which they were able to do quite well as at one point they managed to get close at 21-20 for Italy. To the dissapointment of the home crowd, Thomas Edgar, one of the heroes of the second set, made a few crucial errors and Italy regained the lead with a 25-21 victory in the third set.After the drama of the two previous sets, the fourth set proved a bit anticlimactic as Italy seemed in cruise control against the deflated Volleyroos. Great serves from Paul Sanderson allowed the home team to narrow the gap from seven to two points at 20-18, but once again Italy stepped up their game to clinch a convincing four-set victory. With a very high error count the home team did not really give themselves a chance to challenge Italy today. The home fans will be hoping that coach Santilli can fix these problems before Saturday's rematch. Follow the match text commentary here.