Lima, Peru, August 16, 2015 – Italy roared past United States en route to their first ever crown at the FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship with a convincing 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-16) victory at Eduardo Dibos Coliseum of Lima on Sunday.
The Italian team of Marco Mencarelli put a show of high-quality volleyball displaying splendid defense and a super variety of serves to stop a United States team that was clearly outclassed.
The new champions outscored United States in spikes 41-25 and held an overwhelming 13-4 advantage in the aces category with Giullia Melli and Vittoria Piani each registering four winners from the service line.
Paola Egonu, named the Most Valuable Player, fittingly led Italy in the decisive match with 18 points, including two blocks. Melli and Piani registered 12 and 11 points, respectively, while Alessia Mazzaro chipped in with 8 points. No player from United States reached double figures in the charts with Khalia Lanier tops with nine tallies.
Italy led 16-13 in the first set and stretched the difference to 19-14 with two aces by Piani. USA closed within two points at 19-17 with Piitman blocking Melli and Lilley landing an ace. Italy came back with two aces by Melli and took the set 25-20 with two spikes by Egonu and one by Melli.
Italy led 16-14 at the second technical time-out and expanded to 18-14 with ace and spike by Mazzaro and Melli. Two spikes by Pianni around her ace prepared set-point for Italy. Egonu’s block against Plummer closed the second set 25-18.
Italy dominated the third set with terrific overall defense plus accurate serves and won it 25-16 with a missile shot by Piani in their fourth chance.