Leon and his teammates don’t lose a set. The blue – muscle problem in the right thigh – does not take the field. When will he be able to play?
More than the defeat against the two world champions of Poland on the second day of the Olympic tournament, what worries Italy is the physical condition of his setter: due to a muscle strain in the right quadriceps the Italian director Simone Giannelli was stopped before the challenge. It is impossible to say now how long he will have to stay still, but it is plausible that he will not even be in the next match against the hosts of Japan on Wednesday afternoon (in Tokyo, 11 am in Italy). Meanwhile, the first defeat of this Olympics against Poland arrives (in turn Kubiak’s orphan seems to have been stopped by a muscle problem in the back and only entered at the end of the third set). Italy sides with Sbertoli in place of Giannelli, in the center Anzani and Galassi, in hand Michieletto and Juantorena martelli, Zaytsev opposite and Colaci free. Leon is a very heavy hitter (as they know well in Italy) and crosses the blue defense. Only in the first set Poland signs 4 aces that condemn Italy, which in turn does not have such an incisive serve and touches too little against the wall.
Drzyzga, the Polish director, uses power plants a lot and harnesses the power of Kurek. In the second set the blues raise the pace. They remain glued to Poland, but as the set approaches closure Italy misses those two too many balls that launch Poland towards the double advantage. Blengini doesn’t change anything in the third fraction. Italy still wastes too much, they do not realize those opportunities that arise and with a team like Poland this is an advantage that you cannot give. It goes on point by point as in the previous set, the blues’ serve practically never makes a difference, unlike the Polish one. Heynen’s team, which had surprisingly lost against Iran on the first day, gets back on track towards the quarter-finals. Italy (which in the final of the third set uses the bench) knows they can no longer make mistakes from here until the end of the group, hoping to be able to recover all the staff as soon as possible to resume the race.
July 26, 2021 (change July 26, 2021 | 09:50 am)
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