By Cindy Garcia-Bennett, Novi Sad
Italy center Clelia Corsi is desperate for her team to win enough games at the UMCOR U18 European Championship for Women to keep its place in Division A.
The Italians dominated last year's Division B tournament, going unbeaten with a narrow victory over Ukraine in the final.
Corsi, the only player left from that team, said: "We have a young side. We
|A win over Turkey gave the Italians something to celebrating.|
are working hard to try to improve as much as possible.
“Of course, our aim is to remain in this division but more importantly, we want to give a good image in Novi Sad."
With three European tournaments behind her, Corsi is the undisputed leader in Roberto Ricchini's team in Novi Sad.
"This is my fourth European Championship in total," said Corsi, who plays for Italian club side Florence.
"I am being asked to carry out more duties on the court and a lot more is expected from me.
"Last year's team was led by Giorgia Sottana whereas this year, the responsibilities are shared."
The Azzurre started the tournament on the wrong foot with a defeat to Ukraine but they bounced back with an overtime win against Turkey.
That has given the Italians a chance to progress to the knock-out round.
Italy take on Germany on Sunday looking to progress to the next phase.
"It's a crucial game for us," said Corsi.
"We know that everything depends on our clash against Germany."
Whatever happens, the Italians will have no lack of enthusiasm.
"For my age group, this is the maximum level we can aspire to play in," said Corsi.
"To represent your National Team, play against the best teams and compete at the highest level is fantastic.
"It's a dream and we hope to honor our National Team."
Italy may have struggled in recent years but Corsi believes the future is bright for the young Azzurre.
"We have very young players in the team and it's looking promising," she said.
"They are getting experience in this tournament."