Caguas, Puerto Rico, September 19, 2015 - Going up one step on the final standing after being fourth in 2013 edition, Italy achieved a greatly celebrated bronze medal at FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship, with a hard-fought 3-0 (28-26, 25-22, 25-19) victory over last silver medalists Japan.
Italy showed a magnificent performance on blocking, closing every way to the Japanese attackers and hence prevailing at this department by a crushing 17-3 margin. Paola Egonu and Sara Bonifacio chipped in with four blocks each and final numbers of 14 and 13 points respectively, while Anna Danesi topped the Italian charts with 15 tallies, three of them from blocks. Japanese captain Mizuki Yanagita finished as leading scorer with 20 points.
Japan displayed their awesome defensive skills from the very beginning, while Italy answered with firm blocks. That created an ultra-tight battle on the first set, which Italy could only unlock beyond the 25th point. The advantage sparked the Europeans to win also the second chapter, by a slightly bigger advantage.
The second rally of the third set was the best proof of what the game was - a sensational point in which the ball changed courts nineteen times, until Italy sealed the play with a block. As the game went forward, Italy stayed in control and finally clinched the bronze medal by 25-19.