Italy crash out after shock defeat by Romania

Baku, June 22, AZERTAC

Italy crashed out of the women's European Games Volleyball competition after being swept by Romania, who registered their first win of the competition.

The Italians had a chance of reaching the quarter-finals if they beat Romania 3-0, but the tables were turned as they delivered a below-par performance.

Romania, by contrast, were good value for the win, taking the three sets 25-23, 25-16 and 25-21.

Italy’s loss means Belgium have secured their place in the quarter-finals, advancing from Pool A along with Azerbaijan, Poland and Turkey.

“It’s good to finally win. It’s been disappointing for us to lose so many games”, said Romania’s Nneka Onyejekwe. “We have had a good experience here in Azerbaijan, but if we had won more games it would have been much better.”

Italian head coach Fabio Soli said he was disappointed that his team failed to seize their opportunity to progress. "I hope this experience will be a lesson for the girls and for me," he said.

Germany, meanwhile, cemented a third-place Pool B finish by sweeping aside Croatia.

Croatia libero Nikolina Bozicevic said: “We are disappointed, but this is sport. We are a young team, but we will take some inspiration from this on how to be better players. We have tried hard and given our best.”

The Netherlands, Serbia and Russia are the other qualifiers from Pool B. The quarter-finals start on Tuesday at 10:00.

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