Osaka, Japan, September 15, 2017 – Luca Vettori topped all scorers with 22 points to lead Italy to a 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 25-22) win over Japan in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Grand Champions Cup at the Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium on Friday.
Vettori charted 18 attacks, two blocks and two aces; then three other players scored in double-figures. Masahiro Yanagida scored 20 points, but it was only him and Issei Otake who produced good point-output for the Japanese side. Even though Japan played excellent defence on Italy, the latter made a lot of points from attacks, blocks and service.
Italy have won all four encounters against Japan at the World Grand Champions Cup. The last time Italy won over Japan in four sets was in 1993, when Japan experienced its first ever defeat in the history of the competition.Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup - Women
FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup - Men
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Japan led at the start of the first set, but Italy grabbed the lead as they converted a lot of points from the middle and the right side. A backrow spike closed the set at 25-23 in favour of the Europeans. Japan responded with a 25-22 win in the next set as they passed the ball efficiently, allowing setter Naonobu Fujii to distribute the ball well to his hitters. Italy obtained victories in the next two sets from points off the attack and service errors of Japan.