USA downed two-time defending champions Italy by a 3-2 (25-17, 19-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-10) in the final of the 2019 U18 World Championship held in Ismailia and Cairo (Egypt) to win a historic gold medal at the tournament whose inaugural edition was in 1989.
In an intense battle, the “Azzurrine” chased the lead in sets of their rivals twice and gained a 5-1 lead in the tie-break but were unable to clinch an unprecedented third title in a row. The USA failed to win the U18 World Champs on two attempts after reaching the final – in 2013 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand (lost to China by a 3-0) and in 2015 in Lima, Peru (lost to Italy by a 3-0).
The U.S. National Team finished the tournament with a 7-1 record, suffering its only loss of the tournament exactly to Italy – a 3-2 in the pool stage. Italy also finished with the same record, being undefeated prior to the gold medal encounter.
The USA were led by an outside hitter Emily Londot (Utica High School Redskins) who scored 19 points, while middle blocker Devyn Robinson (Ankeny Centennial High School Jaguars) made 6 kill blocks. In Italy, outside hitters Alessia Bolzonetti (Igor Gorgonzola Novara) and Loveth Omoruyi (Club Italia Crai) scored 17 points apiece. The middle blocker Emma Graziani (Volleyrò Casal de Pazzi youth volleyball school) made 4 kill blocks.
Brazil have recovered from their semifinal defeat to the USA to win the bronze medal by beating China in four sets.
2019 FIVB Girls’ Volleyball U18 World Championship:
Bronze medal match
Brazil – China 3-1 (25-18, 25-18, 22-25, 27-25)
USA – Italy 3-2 (25-17, 19-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-10)
Best Setter: Kennedi Orr (USA)
Best Opposite Hitter: Giorgia Frosini (Italy)
Best Outside Hitters: Ana Cristina Menezes (Brazil) & Loveth Omoruyi (Italy)
Best Middle Blockers: Devyn Robinson (USA) & Emma Graziani (Italy)
Best Libero: Zhu Xingchen (China)
MVP: Jessica Mruzik (USA)
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