· Italy and Latvia will meet for the first time at the European championships.
· On the women's side, Italy won both of their EuroVolley meetings with Latvia in straight sets, in 1993 and 1997.
· Italy and Latvia have yet to meet at a major world level tournament (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, Grand Champions Cup, World League, Nations League).
· Italy have met a Baltic state at a European championship once before, when the Italians defeated Estonia 3-0 in the 2015 group stage.
· Italy won each of their five matches in Pool B, only dropping sets in 3-1 victories over Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
· Italy have finished in the top-eight at 15 of the last 16 European championships, with a 10th place in 2009 as the only exception.
· The last time Italy won each of their five group stage matches at the European championships was in their title-winning campaign in 2003.
· Alessandro Michieletto is Italy's leading point scorer on 72 points, including 15 from serves.
· Only Bulgaria's Todor Skrimov (17 aces, 9.72% efficiency) is ranked higher on the server ranking in the final round than Michieletto (15 aces, 6.19% efficiency).
· Gianluca Galassi (50%) is one of three players with a spiker efficiency of at least 50% in the final round this year.
· Latvia qualified for the Eighth Finals despite winning only one of their five matches in Pool D, a 3-1 triumph versus Estonia. They finished above Slovakia and Estonia on ranking points, thanks to two 3-2 defeats.
· At the 2019 European championships, Greece also advanced to the knockout stages after winning only one of their group phase matches. They lost 3-0 to Russia in the Eighth Finals.
· Latvia are playing at their second European championships, after 1995. They lost each of their five matches back then, winning only one set.
· Hermans Egleskalns (63) is Latvia's leading point scorer at this tournament, despite appearing in only three matches.
First RefereeMilan RAJKOVICCROSecond RefereeKenneth AROFIN
Ostravar Arena is a multifunctional hall in Ostrava, located in the Ostrava-South district. It was completed in 1986 and at the time, it was the largest and most modern hall in Europe. First reconstruction took place between 2003 and 2004, the other in the year 2012. The capacity of this Aren is 10 157 seats. Ostravar Arena is the home stadium of the extra-league hockey club Vítkovice. Various sports and cultural events, European Championships and World Championships are held here: - Ice Hockey World Championship (2004, 2015) - Women's Floorball World Championship (2013) - European Figure Skating Championships (2017) - Tennis tournament J&T Banka Ostrava Open – part of the WTA Tour (2020) Capacity: 9631
How To Attend
Ruská 3077/135, OSTRAVA, 700 30 Capacity: 9631
TRAVELLING BY CAR In the direction from the D1 motorway it is exit 354. It is best to drive along Rudná Street, then along Závodní Street. SPORT ARENA signs guide visitors to the arena from all directions. The car parks by the OSTRAVAR ARENA are accessible from Závodní Street. GPS coordinates: 49.8044550N, 18.2512036E TRAVELLING BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT From Ostrava main train station by tram number 2 to the Sport aréna stop. From Ostrava bus station walk to the Náměstí republiky (or Dr. Malý) stop and then take tram number 2 to the Sport aréna stop. Get directions
Simone Giannelli is the setter of Italian Team, probably one of the best players in the world. Born in Bolzano in 1996, he played more than 140 matches with National Team; he won silver medal in the OG in Rio 2016, silver medal in the WC 2015 and bronze medal in the CEV EC in Sofia 2015. From the next season will play in Perugia after spending all of his sports life in Trentino Volley so far.
- All Time
Libero Ingars Ivanovs
Setter Simone Giannelli
Coach Ferdinando De Giorgi
Italian team huddle
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ITALY v LATVIA
The winner of the Ostrava’s group B Italy fulfilled the role of favorite and in the round of sixteen defeated Latvia convincingly 3:0 (25:14, 25:13, 25:16). They were better from the start and benefited from their great service.
The beginning of this match was quite catious from both sides. Italy were stronger in attack but risked a lot on serve which resulted in making many mistakes. After Daniele Lavia’s monster block they created a two point lead (11:9) which they later extended by Giulio Pinali‘s ace. Another two points were scored by Alessandro Michieletto on the block. Latvia weren’t confident on the reception and their best player on the tournament opposite Hermans Egleskalns was substituted in the middle of the opening set. Italy managed to win with a massive difference (25:14).
Italian players had a better start to the second set and took an early lead (9:4). Latvia’s reception wasn’t good and they were unable to compete on the block. In addition, they produced too many unforced errors to stay competitive. Italy kept their cool, pushed Latvia with strong serves and thanks to opposite Giulio Pinali safely finished the rallies. The score difference raised a little more than in the first set.
Only in the third set did the Latvians gain a two point lead. Thanks to successful blocks they pleased a the Latvian fans who arrived in Ostrava. After that it was Italian team which simply played their game, quickly regained the lead and reached the victorious end.
Avo Keel, Latvian coach: “It was a real difference between both teams. When you face such a strong team as Italy, you can clearly see variances in every playing activity. When the opponent is weaker, those variances aren’t that big. Italy is a technique team and play very quick. We are happy for being a part of the round of sixteen.”
Daniele Lavia, Italian outside spiker: “It was a very good match from our side. I think the key factors of today’s win were our serve and blocks. Latvia played very well on this tournament so I didn’t expect it to be that clear. However we were strong today and this is why we defeated them.”
The match in numbers
The combined total number of points scored by both teams throughout the entire match.
The total length of the match, from the first serve through until the last point has ended.
Total number of people in attendance at the venue – taken at the end of the second set.
The combined total number of successful spikes achieved by both teams throughout the entire match.
An average of the two team service reception percentages from the complete match.
The number of successful point winning blocks of ITALY compared to LATVIA.
ITALY number of service aces compared to LATVIA
Errors leading to points of ITALY, next to those from LATVIA