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Italy eases past Serbia to remain unbeaten at women's volleyball
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17:07, August 15, 2008

World Cup winner Italy eased past European runner-up Serbia 3-0 here on Friday to remain unbeaten at the Beijing Games women's volleyball preliminaries.

The Italians have improved to a 4-0 record with the 25-23, 25-20 and 25-19 victory at the Capital Gymnasium and will vie for the top place in pool B on Sunday with Brazil, who have also claimed four straight wins in a row.

"We are sure to be in the first two. It's important because it means we are playing in a good way," said Italy head coach Massimo Barbolini.

"Now we have to focus on the next match against Brazil," he added. "They are one of the strongest teams in the world and we will try to play the way they do."

Taismary Aguero produced 14 kills in 24 attempts and added five aces to lead Italy with 19 points with Francesca Piccinini and Simona Gioli contributing 11 points apiece.

The losses of Kazakhstan and Algeria earlier on Friday have already sent the two European teams to the quarter-finals while Italy, who beat Serbia in the final to win the title of the 2007 European Championships, started strongly in the first set, jumping to an 11-4 lead thanks to fine serves of Taismary Aguero and consecutive Serbian errors.

Trailing 18-12, the Serbian women rallied with a 10-4 run to level it at 22-all before Simona Gioli and Aguero ran off two points in a row to make it 24-22.

Ivana Djerisilo drove a ball off the block out of bounds to cut it to 24-23, but Italy converted on its second set point through Aguero.

Serbia went down more tamely in the last two sets.

The Serbian women, who have recorded two wins against two losses, will play Russia in the last round of the round robin play on Sunday.


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3 South Korea 6 7 3 16
4 Italia 6 4 3 13
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