Milan, Italy, September 23, 2018 – Italy beat the Netherlands 3-1 on Sunday to secure their seventh victory in eight matches this far and get an extra boost of confidence ahead of the Final Six coming up in Turin.
Gianlorenzo Blengini, coach of Italy: “I am really happy with this victory also because it showed that I can count on all of my players. Tonight I decided to provide an opportunity to the ones who have played less this far and they did not let me down. They did a fantastic job in recovering after losing the first set and took command of the fourth with a perfect performance, but this was not a surprise for me. I think that we gave a real show here in Milan and we lived up to everyone’s expectations. Now I am thinking about the Final Six knowing that it will be a battle between the strongest teams in the world. We still do not know who our opponents are but we do know that every game will be a tough game. We must remain focussed and keep going strong.”
Enrico Cester, player of Italy: “We have been waiting for three weeks for a chance to play and this is why we had a bit of difficulty in the first set. However, at the end, we demonstrated what we are capable of doing and that we can give our contribution to the team when we have to do so. I think we can still grow in every aspect and as a team too.”
Gido Vermeulen, coach of the Netherlands: “We are very happy, since we are among the top ten teams in the world, and this is more than what we expected. We are also very happy because next year we get to play the European Championship in the Netherlands, so this means that we can grow even more being able to play at home and make a further step ahead. Today we played great volleyball in the first set. However, after that, they came back, helped by the home crowd. My players surrendered in the last set since they felt this long tournament in their legs.”