|Simona Gioli (1st L) of Italy spikes the ball during the second round match against the United States at the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix Final Round in Ningbo, city of east China's Zhejiang Province, on Aug. 26, 2010. Italy lost the match 0-3. (Xinhua/Xu Yu)
NINGBO, China, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- The United States claimed an easy victory over Italy in straight sets on Thursday to clinch their second win in the FIVB World Grand Prix final round.
The United States, who overcame Poland 3-2 Wednesday in their opening match, won 25-23, 25-20, 25-14 in 77 minutes as they garnered 15 points on blocks against Italy's four.
Earlier this month, the U.S. beat Italy 3-1 in the preliminary round in Thailand.
The Americans opened the first set with a 6-3 lead thanks to a series of errors by their rivals, forcing Italy coach Massimo Barbolini to call an early timeout.
Italy then won three straight points to equalize but the U.S. soon jumped ahead 8-6 and managed to hold onto a narrow lead until the end of the first frame as Foluke Akinradewo, Heather Bown and Alisha Glass presented an impenetrable wall in front of Italian spikers.
Italy could hardly react to the solid U.S. defence, allowing their opponents 6-2 ahead in the second set. Trailing by 16-10. Italy took advantage of a U.S. lapse in defence to claw back for 18-17. But once the Americans regained their rhythm, Italy could not go further and had to surrender 25-20.
The Americans held a firm advantage over the net and obtained a commanding 6-0 lead in the third set to force Italy coach Massimo Barbolini to call timeout twice within three minutes. But his instructions didn't work, as with Destinee Hooker spiking powerfully from the flank and Foluke Akinradewo being efficient in blocks, the U.S. breezed through the lopsided set with minimal fuss.