Italy face tough opposition in all-European clash


Tokyo, Japan, May 18, 2016 - Italy could book a ticket to Rio if they defeat the Netherlands in the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Olympic Qualification Tournament all-European clash, but face no easy task against the squad of compatriot Giovanni Guidetti.

• Italy won the last meeting with the Netherlands at a World Olympic Qualification tournament, 3-2 in 2000.
• The Netherlands won their meeting at the 1996 World Olympic Qualification tournament (3-1).
• This is a repeat of the 2009 European Championship final. Italy won in straight sets and grabbed their second European title after 2007.
• The Netherlands won only two of their last eight meetings with Italy. They won 3-1 at the 2007 World Grand Prix and in straight sets in their most recent meeting, in the 2015 European Championship.

• Italy will qualify for the Olympic Games with a win.
• Italy could qualify for their fifth consecutive Olympic Games and have yet to claim a medal.
• Italy can win their first five matches of a World Olympic Qualification tournament for the first time since starting the 2000 edition with six wins.
• Italy have won at least two sets in 17 of their last 18 World Olympic Qualification matches, including in their last 11.
• Italy can claim five wins in a row at world level for the first time since six straight wins at the 2014 World Championships.
• Cristina Chirichella has made 13 stuff blocks in the first four matches, most of all players. Her total blocks of 70 are by far the most of all players and also the 0.93 average blocks per set are a tournament high.

• The Netherlands have won five of their last six matches at World Olympic Qualification tournaments, including their last two in 2000.
• Since the start of 2015, the Netherlands have won 20 of their 24 competitive matches, only losing against Germany (European Games), Azerbaijan (European Games), Russia (European Championship) and Korea (Olympic Qualification Tournament).
• Lonneke Sloetjes has scored 87 points at this World Olympic Qualification tournament, most of all players.
• Sloetjes has also scored the most points from spikes in the competition (79).


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