14. 09. 2019

WCH U18 W: Italy produce astonishing comeback vs. China, will play USA in final

Source: u18.girls.2019.volleyball.fivb.com; Photo: u18.girls.2019.volleyball.fivb.com

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The two-time successive winners Italy will have the chance to claim the hat-trick of the FIVB Girls’ Volleyball U18 World Championship titles.

 

Italy produced an incredible comeback against China in the semifinals of the 2019 U18 World Championship held in Ismailia and Cairo, Egypt.

Prior to the match, both sides did not lose a single match (6-0 record each) but China did not concede a single set (18-0). The nation from Asia was on their way to keep it like that after taking the first two sets against Italy. But, the team coached by Marco Mencarelli staged a full comeback (3-2: 22-25, 19-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-10) even though they lost their second-best scorer in that moment, Giorgia Frosini, who sprained her ankle after landing on a foot of China’s player Wu Mengjie in the very last point of the fourth set.

Loveth Omoruyi (Club Italia Crai, Division 2) top-scored for Italy with 19 points, while her club teammate, the middle blocker Linda Nwakalor, made 4 kill blocks. The outside hitter Wu Mengjie (Jiangsu) notched 19 points for China. The opposite hitter Liu Xin (Tianjin) served 4 aces.

 

Thanks to setting a bulletproof block on the net (13-4), the USA managed to sweep Brazil in the other semifinal duel.

Both teams have significantly improved their campaign from the first stage of the tournament, which they ended second-placed in their respective pools, losing one match apiece.

The outside hitter Emily Londot (Utica High School Redskins) was USA’s top scorer with 13 points, while middle blocker Caroline Crawford (Liberty High School Blue Jays) made 5 kill blocks.

The two finalists, Italy and the USA, already met once in the tournament. In Pool B opening, the „Azzurrine“ came back from two sets down to inflict the only defeat to the North American country, so far. For the United States, it will be a third gold medal match, while Italy will play their fourth final.

2019 FIVB Girls’ Volleyball U18 World Championship, semifinals:

Brazil – USA 0-3 (18-25, 18-25, 14-25)

China – Italy 2-3 (25-22, 25-19, 19-25, 19-25, 10-15)

Bronze medal match:

Brazil vs. China, 16:00 CET

Final:

USA vs. Italy, 19:00 CET

 

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