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link to: Official 2002 World Championship website
Women's World Championship 2002 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Italy beat U.S.A. 3-2 (18-25, 25-18, 25-16, 22-25, 15-11) - duration 2:00
15-Sep, start time: 15:00, end time: 17:00 - Attendance: 9,070
Italy is the new Women's World Champion. In the final, the Italians defeated USA 3-2. It was the first ever World Title for a Western European women's team. After losing the first and the fourth set, the Squadra Azzurra took the World Crown by winning the fifth set thriller. It is the first ever major title for Italy. Last year, the Italians lost the final of the European Championship against Russia.
All players of Italy and USA started the most important match in their career very nervous. USA was playing without the injured Prikeba Phipps, who was replaced by captain Tara Cross-Battle. The big difference between USA and Italy was the defense. US libero Stacy Sykora and her teammates digged much more balls. USA won the set with 25-18.
Italy took the lead for the first time in the match at the beginning of the second set. USA started to make some more mistakes as in the first set, while the serve pressure of Italy became better. A back row attack of Elisa Togut brought Italy the first set point. The Italians converted the second one, winning the set 25-18.
In the third set, Italy continued the way the team played in the second set. The Vice European Champion took a 10-4 lead thanks to some great strategic serves of all Italians, blocks of Anna Vania Mello and good spikes of Togut. Italy took a two sets to one lead by winning the third set 25-16.
USA came back strongly in the fourth set. USA scored the first points and stayed slightly in front till 8-7. Italy bounced back and took a 11-9 lead. USA never gave up and came in front again 14-12. No team could make any gap. It was USA that made the first three point gap at 23-20. The Americans won the set 25-22.
In the fifth set, no team took a lead of more than one point. Thanks to three spikes of Togut, Italy was the first team to make a gap of three points at 12-9. This was enough to clinch the set, match and World Title. Italy took the title on the first match point, with a back row attack of Togut
Elisa Togut was the best scorer with 32 points.