Japan made a progress from winning the bronze medal in the 2017 FIVB U20 Women’s Volleyball World Championship, the previous edition, to become the champions in this year’s edition of the tournament that was held in Mexico.
In the gold medal encounter that was held in front of the packed stands at the Gimnasio Hermanos Carreón (3,500 spectators) in the city of Aguascalientes, Japan were close to losing their unbeaten run (7-0 before the final), which also means that they would fail to win the trophy, as Italy took a 2-set lead. But, after 2 hours and 12 minutes of a play, the Asian side came back, driven by the tournament MVP Mayu Ishikawa, and clinched the title for the first time in this age category: 3-2 (23-25, 21-25, 25-20, 25-19, 15-12).
Toray Arrows outside hitter Ishikawa, a younger sister of Japanese Men’s Volleyball star Yūki Ishikawa, led scorers of the winning side with 19 points (5 aces). NEC Red Rockets outside hitter Haruna Soga scored one point less than Ishikawa. As much as 5 Japan’s players had double digits in the final. Club Italia Crai middle blocker Fatim Kone top-scored for Italy with 18 points, while Savino Del Bene Scandicci middle blocker Marina Lubian and Club Italia Crai outside hitter Alessia Populini made 4 kill blocks apiece.
In the bronze medal match, the defending champions Russia beat Turkey in 4 sets.
Best Setter: Tsukasa Nakagawa (Japan)
Best Outside Hitters: Haruna Soga (Japan) and Mayu Ishikawa (Japan)
Best Middle Blockers: Yulia Brovkina (Russia) and Merve Atlıer (Turkey)
Best Opposite: Terry Enweonwu (Italy)
Best Libero: Ni Feifan (China)
FIVB U20 Women’s Volleyball World Championship:
Bronze medal match:
Russia – Turkey 3-1 (25-22, 26-28, 25-19, 29-27)
Japan – Italy 3-2 (23-25, 21-25, 25-20, 25-19, 15-12)
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