USA in must-win situation against Italy


Lausanne, Switzerland, August 2, 2017 - Reigning world champions USA are in a must-win situation Thursday in Nanjing against Italy, after dropping their opening game to Serbia in the Final Six of the 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix. The Americans need to win this game or they crash out of the competition - but could also secure a ticket to the semifinals with a win for full points. The two teams have already met twice this season, splitting victories in pool play.

• United States and Italy have played 20 World Grand Prix matches with United States winning 11 and Italy winning nine.
• Earlier this edition, these nations met twice in the group stages. On 8 July, United States won in straight sets in Kunshan. On 15 July, Italy took revenge, beating USA in five sets in Macau.
• USA have won at least two sets in each of their last 10 World Grand Prix matches against Italy.

• United States have lost their last two World Grand Prix matches. They lost their last preliminary round match against Brazil (3-1) and lost against Serbia in five sets in the final round.
• Another loss will result in their worst streak since losing four in a row in 2013. That streak included defeats against Brazil, Serbia and upcoming opponents Italy.
• United States have lost their last three five-setters at the World Grand Prix (against Italy, China, Serbia). They can lose four five-setters in a row for the first time ever in the competition.

• Italy qualified for the final round with six wins and three losses in the preliminary round.
• Italy are hoping to reach the World Grand Prix semifinals for the first time since 2006, when they lost 3-2 against Russia.
• Italy lost their last World Grand Prix match 3-0 against Thailand. The last time they lost back-to-back matches in straight sets in the competition was in 2015 (against Brazil and Russia).
• Monica De Gennaro was the best receiver in Group 1 this season (77.50%).


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