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FIVB World Grand Prix 2010 USA vs ITA (3-1) 4th Set

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Published on Aug 21, 2010

Bangkok, Thailand, August 13, 2010 - Fired-up USA produced a magnificent come back to see off Italy 3-1 (26-28, 26-24, 25-23, 25-15) and move up to sixth place in the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix in Bangkok, Thailand on Friday.

The USA fared better defensively and offensively to stun the Italians, leaving them one place behind the Americans in seventh place.

Strengthened by the three musketeers who joined the silver-winning team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games - Logan Tom, Heather Bown and libero Stacy Sykora - the USA began their daunting task against the Italians with a 5-3 lead in a closely-contested first set. Italy, two-time European champions, recovered quickly with hard-hitting Serena Ortolani penetrating the American defense with her exceptional spikes. The Italians, who also picked up last year's FIVB World Grand Champions Cup, closed the margin at 10-10 before both sides' traded fierce spikes. As Tom was the backbone of the USA, Ortolani emerged as the spiking machine for Italy. The USA tightened their defense as Italy continued their strong attack before Piccinini Francesca produced a devastating spike to finish the opponents in a grueling rally.

The USA held their nerve and hit back aggressively with Tom carrying out powerful jump serves and thundering spikes, as they claimed a narrow 22-20 lead. The Italians clawed their way back into the set with scintillating blocks and deadly spikes taking the match to 24-24. However, the USA maintained their poise as Tom hit a spectacular cross-court spike to help her team win the second set 26-24.

The USA dominated the third set when Tom punctured the Italian defense with her lightning-fast spikes to lead 6-1. The Italians regained their composure to counter-attack well and tie at 22-22. The USA played cool under pressure to take a commanding 24-22 lead needing only one point to win the set. Despite Ortolani pulling back one point for her team Tom responded with a back-court hit taking the set.

Their confidence boosted after gaining the lead, the USA performed brilliantly in the fourth set where they produced a commanding 17-10 lead. From there the Italians were easy pickings as the USA stormed on to win the set comfortably as well as the match.

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