After more than six weeks of play, including three preliminary rounds in different countries, Italy emerged victorious in the Women’s Volleyball Nations League on Sunday by sweeping Brazil 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 in Ankara, Turkey.
“I’m super happy and proud of us, because it’s the first time I’ve won the VNL. Now we can finally go on vacation! declared the Italian Paolo Egonu, named MVP of the final.
“As I always say, I can get a player award, but what’s most important is that I’m happy we’re working together as a team.”
Egonu will be on a well-deserved vacation after leading with 18 kills, three blocks and four digs in the Finals. This follows a decisive 22 win performance in the semi-finals when Italy beat Serbia in four. She also had three blocks, an ace and two digs.
Against Brazil, her teammate Chiara Bosetti had 10 kills, one ace and three digs. She had nine kills, one block, one ace and 16 digs in the semifinals.
Kisy Nascimento led Brazil with 12 kills, one block, one ace and two digs. Georgia Tech’s Julia Bergmann capped a top-down VNL for her with three kills and five digs.
In the match for third place, Serbia swept Turkey 27-25, 25-17, 26-24. Sara Loza led Serbia with 18 kills, one block and five digs.
In the semi-final, Italy swept Turkey 25-18, 28-26, 25-22 and Brazil beat Serbia 14-25, 25-18, 26-24, 25-19. In that game, Bergmann had 15 kills, one ace and seven digs.
Now the focus turns to the men, whose quarter-finals begin Wednesday in Bologna, Italy, when the American men take on Brazil and Italy take on the Netherlands. On Thursday, France face Japan and Poland face Iran.
On June 11 in Brazil, the American men beat Brazil in four behind unlikely leader Jake Hanes, who had 17 kills, two blocks, an ace and seven digs.