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USA holds back Italy 3-1 to stay undefeated

 
Omaha, USA, July 23, 2015 – Host United States, ranked No. 1 in the world, defeated Italy 25-17, 25-14, 15-25, 25-18 on Thursday evening on the second day of the FIVB World Grand Prix Finals being held in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

USA was led by middle blockers Christa Dietzen (14 points) and Lauren Gibbemeyer (13 points). Italy was paced by Lucia Bosetti’s 12 points.

Larson-Burbach slammed consecutive winners to put the U.S. in front 7-3 in the opening set. Italy called a timeout after the USA expanded their lead to 12-4. Lucia Bosetti put up consecutive blocks of Lauren Gibbemeyer to cut the Italian deficit to 12-7, then served consecutive aces at 13-10. Chirichella served Italy’s third ace of the set to move within 14-12. Deitzen and Murphy collected kills on each side of the technical timeout and Hill served an ace followed by a Gibbemeyer kill to yield a 19-13 American lead. Lowe slammed the final point, her fourth in the set coming off the bench late as a double-sub, to end the set at 25-17.

Murphy served an ace after a Gibbemeyer spike to put the USA up 6-3 early in the second set. Kreklow served an ace followed by a Dietzen kill that gave the Americans a five-point cushion at 11-6. Gibbemeyer and Larson-Burbach put home team up 16-9 at the second technical timeout with consecutive kills. Lowe slammed a cross-court winner forcing Italy to call a timeout after giving up five straight points at 18-9. Larson-Burbach blocked an Italian attack out of the timeout to go up double-digits at 19-9. Robinson capped the set at 25-14 with a roll shot over the block.

Indre Sorokaite served up an ace to give Italy a 5-3 lead in the third set. Lucia Bosetti scored a block to force USA to call timeout trailing 10-5. Team USA answered as Gibbemeyer picked up a block and ace to cut the gap to 11-9. Sorokaite put up a kill and Miriam Fatime Sylla blocked an attack build a five-point cushion at 15-10. Sylla scored her second block of the set to prompt USA to call a second timeout trailing 17-11. The Americans inched to 17-14 following a Murphy kill and Italian net violation. Italy jumped their lead to 21-14 on back-to-back USA errors and a Sorokaite kill. Lucia Bosetti served her third ace of the set and Caterina Bosetti hit a cross-court winner to finalize the set at 25-15.

Lowe slammed a kill and Italy hit wide to give USA a three-point cushion at 11-8 in the fourth set. Courtney Thompson subbed in and promptly served an ace lifting USA in front 13-9. The Americans reached the second technical timeout with a 16-11 advantage after an Italian hitting miscue. Caterina Bosetti hit kill off the block to chip away at the deficit leading to Team USA to call timeout up 16-14. Sylla pulled to within one at 17-16. Team USA regained a four-point cushion with consecutive blocks from Lowe at 20-16 and the Americans cruised into the 25-18 victory finishing with a Lowe ace.

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