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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | VOLLEYBALL

Italy Again Serves the Dutch Humble Pie

July 26, 1996|Times Wire Services

With hard-hitting Andrea Giani leading the way, top-ranked Italy beat second-ranked Netherlands, 15-8, 15-8, 15-13, to improve to 3-0 in Pool B in men's volleyball.

Italy has won every major championship this decade except the Olympics, and is favored here. The Netherlands, often the frustrated runner-up, finally achieved a breakthrough last month when it outlasted Italy, 22-20, to win the World League final in Rotterdam, Netherlands. But the Italians are again standing in the way.

"It's very important that we did this," said Giani, who had a match-high 30 kills and five service aces. "If we get to the finals, we will see them again. It's important to set a precedent."

In Pool A matches, Argentina (2-1) rebounded from a loss to the U.S. by beating Bulgaria (2-1) in four games to enhance its chances of finishing third in Pool A; Brazil (1-2) kept Poland (0-3) winless with a 15-7, 15-11, 15-8 victory.

In other Pool B matches, Yugoslavia beat Tunisia, 15-4, 15-17, 15-3, 15-3, and Russia swept past South Korea, 15-8, 15-4, 16-14.

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