Hong Kong, China, May 30, 2018 - Cristina Chirichella delivered for Italy with a 11-point haul as they breezed to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-18) victory over Argentina in FIVB Volleyball Nations League action on Wednesday night.
The towering middle blocker took control of the net with five blocks in a dominant performance for Italy as the Europeans got back to winning ways after a disappointing loss to Japan the night before.
Italy shared the spoils against overmatched opponents, with middle blocker Anna Danesi and wing spiker Miryam Sylla (eight points each) also impressing.
It was hard graft for Argentina who couldn't ever really get a run of points going. Wing spiker Anahi Tosi continued to lead the way for the South Americans, her team-best nine points giving her a total of 80 for the VNL so far.
The head-to-head record coming in read 7-0 to the Italians and they never looked like letting Argentina break that drought, racing away with the first set in just on 22 minutes - and making it 8-0 after just 70 minutes had gone on the clock.
It had been a tough opening for the Italians in Hong Kong the night before, losing in five sets to Japan in a match they had every chance of winning. But there were plenty of positives to build on, including the fact that Paola Egonu was thrown back into action after missing the whole of the first two rounds of the VNL.
The 19-year-old star had shone then - with 25 points - but struggled to find her rhythm on Wednesday. Danesi and Sylla stepped up to carry the load and no doubt please coach Davide Mazzanti.
The reward for the Italians was a 3-5 record to take in to their final-night meeting here with world number one China, and they'll be looking for Egonu to find her touch once again. The fact she aced for match point was a positive sign.
The VNL road has meanwhile been a rough one so far for Argentina. They are now sitting 0-8 and have not won a set in their past six matches, going into their last clash of round three on Thursday evening against Japan.