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Italy show class in victory against Serbia to wrap up women's VNL week 2

Italy celebrate ending week 2 with a victory against Serbia
Conegliano Veneto, Italy, May 30, 2019 – Paola Egonu was on red-hot form as Italy ended their FIVB Volleyball Nations League week two hosting duties by defeating FIVB world champions Serbia 3-1 (25-27, 25-17, 27-25, 25-23) at the Zoppas Arena on Thursday. 

The opposite spiker was far and away the leading scorer with 32 points as Italy reversed the result of the Japan 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship gold medal match to send Serbia to their third defeat in six matches in the 2019 VNL. 

The 20-year-old Egonu gave Italy match point with a powerful spike and then wrapped up their second victory of week two when Serbia’s defence were only able to block another shot out. 

Cristina Chirichella was the only other player to hit double figures for Davide Mazzanti’s team with 12, while Katarina Lazovic led scoring for Serbia with 16. Ana Bjelica added 14 and Mina Popovic 11.

The win for Italy put four teams on five victories at the end of week 2 after USA lost their first match in the competition earlier on Thursday in a five-set defeat to the Dominican Republic. Italy coach Mazzanti's players ended the week third in the overall ranking behind Turkey and USA, who enjoyed stronger set and point ratios. The fourth team on five victories was Poland with Malwina Smarzek leading the scoring for her team. Reigning world champions Serbia took eighth with three wins in the competition so far. 

Italy now travel to Hong Kong where they will face Olympic champions China, Japan and the Netherlands. Serbia are next in action in Kortrijk in Belgium where they take on the host nation, Poland and Russia. 

The 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League continues on Friday with the first matches in week 1 of the men's competition with 16 teams playing in Jiangmen, China (Pool 1), Mendoza, Argentina (Pool 2), Katowice, Poland (Pool 3) and Novi Sad, Serbia (Pool 4) from May 31 to June 2.

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