Italy remain unbeaten in volleyball Olympic qualifiers

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WARSAW, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Italy's women's volleyball team won their fourth consecutive game in the Olympic qualifying tournament as they beat Colombia in straight sets 25-15, 25-20, 25-20 in Lodz, Poland on Wednesday.

Outside hitter Francesca Villani delivered 17 points for the winners, while middle blocker Marina Lubian poured in 13. Outside hitter Amanda Coneo contributed 15 points for Colombia.

Davide Mazzanti's players controlled the game from the very beginning as they were effective in attack. The favorites added ten points from the service area and eight from blocks.

In the opening set, the best team of the 2021 Women's European Volleyball Championship showed their strength as they allowed their rivals to score just 15 points.

Colombia, coached by Brazil's Antonio Rizola Neto, tried to level the result, but they were not able to surprise Italy, who won two consecutive sets by the same 25-20 scoreline to close the game out in three sets.

In the evening match, Thailand produced a huge surprise as they beat tournament hosts Poland in a five-set thriller, 25-18, 7-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-12.

Outside hitter Ajcharaporn Kongyot turned out to be the hero for Thailand with 22 points. Magdalena Stysiak earned 25 points for Stefano Lavarini's team, but the 22-year-old missed the target in a crucial moment, which killed Poland's hopes of victory. In the crucial phase of the last set, Thailand scored four points in a row to win the tie-break 15-12.

In Pool C of the Olympic qualifying tournament, Italy stayed on top with a perfect record of four victories, just like the United States, who beat South Korea 3-1 (20-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-17) in Lodz on Wednesday.

China are in second place in Pool A behind leaders Serbia. Cai Bin's players have had three wins and one defeat. Enditem

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