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Diouf among nominees for Italian Sportrait Awards

Valentina Diouf prepares to serve
Rome, Italy, January 27, 2015 - Valentina Diouf and Italy's team at the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Italy 2014 are among the nominees for the 2015 Italian Sportrait Awards. The award gives sports fans across the country an opportunity to vote for the athletes which have inspired them the most over the last twelve months.

Diouf has been nominated in the 'Revelation of the Year' category, while Italy's women's team will hope to claim a special young peoples' award after finishing fourth at the the 17th edition of the Women's World Championship, which has held in six Italian cities from September 23 through to October 12.

Diouf's statistics at the Women's World Championship included the following highlights: second best scorer with a total of 63 points, third best spiker with a success rate of 44.83%, 15th blocker with an average of 0.25 per set, and second best server.

Italy came into the tournament with high expectations, hoping to match their 2002 counterparts by taking gold. They were also aiming to become the first hosts to win a World Championship since Japan in 1967 and began well, winning their first four matches before being stunned by the Dominican Republic.

Coach Marco Bonitta's team eventually lost to China in the semifinals before going on to lose to Brazil in the final for third place. Italian dreams were shattered in the epic five-set match against Brazil, despite fighting from two sets down and Diouf's 31 points, but the team's heroics made a lasting impression on a packed Mediolanum Forum in Milan and on Italian fans across the country.

The ceremony for the third edition of the Italian Sportrait Awards will take place on March 2 in Rome. Information on the voting process is available here, with news about the event on Facebook and Twitter.


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