Italy opposite Indre Sorokaite said Japan and China pose the most potent threats to the Azzurri this week in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League – but warned her team-mates not to underestimate the Netherlands.
Sorokaite said Italy go into all three games in confident mood, but without complacency.
“In Hong Kong the team will be able to grow in terms of the game, putting into practice the things we are working on in training,” the 30-year-old told Volleyball.it.
“The Netherlands, on the other hand, are a young team and we will not underestimate them. Our aim is to play our game and pick up points without being too tense or nervous.
“We have every chance to do well and take another step towards the finals in Nanjing.”
A united group
Sorokaite reflected on their performances so far, saying: “We are playing well, especially considering the little time we had to prepare for the competition. We are satisfied with these first two weeks and now it is up to us to build on the good work we have done.
“At this time of the season it is important to use every game to find the right way to play, especially with the Olympic qualifying tournament in Catania coming up.
“I think that we are showing how united we are as a group. Difficult moments always come with a smile or a pat on the back.”
The Lithuania-born star forged her success as an opposite but has recently taken on the role of receiving striker, both at club level and for her country.
She described the challenge, saying: “With my club, I felt more mature and more complete, and I am happy to be able to prove myself in the blue shirt.
“Covering two roles at international level is not easy but I enjoy it so much, and it completes me both as a person and as a player.
“We must have a lot of concentration and maturity. Last season helped me a lot.
“I can say that the hard work is bearing fruit.”