FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Japan beat Italy in four to reach final at Women’s U20 World Champs

Japan performed one of the biggest demonstration at 2013 Women’s U20 World Champs with everything they could - whatever best skills you could imagine in volleyball court.

Brno, Czech Republic, June 29, 2013 – Japan continued their triumphal march to the final stage of the 2013 FIVB Women’s U20 World Champs with a well-deserved 25-19, 25-15, 21-25, 25-17 semi-final success over titleholder Italy. Aya Horie from Japan topped all the scorers with a contribution of 16 points while Sara Bonifacio earned 12 points for her team. 

The game kicked off with a point-by-point pattern and reached a 15-15 tie. However, Japan’s well-known tip-over spikes looked unstoppable and led to a 17-15 cushion for Japan. The Italians relied on powerful and fast spikes in the middle but could not prevent Japan’s from their run to a 25-19 set win. Japan had zero block and zero serve winners in their records after the first set, but committed only six errors compared to 10 on Italy’s side. Italy’s middles Sara Bonifacio and captain Cristina Chirichella were the main scorers for Italy with a total of seven points.   

Obviously excited by the first set success, the young Japanese demonstrated all-rounded performance, particularly with solid defence work and well-balanced offense, to achieve a 16-13 lead. Italy coach Davide Mazzanti sent in Alessia Fiesoli for Miriam Fatime Sylla and “Azzurre” took more risk from the service line, but the Asians were clearly in the correct rhythm and a combined effort by Aya Horie and Ayaka Hosokawa closed the second set for Japan 25-15. 

Even though Italy bounced back bravely in the third set with improved block work and solid passing, Japan continued their dominance in the very beginning of the fourth set with an early 5-1 lead. Italy reduced the gap to two points at 7-9, but the Japanese performed one of the biggest demonstration at 2013 Women’s U20 World Champs with everything they could – solid blocking, aggressive spikes and unbeatable floor defense – whatever best skills you could imagine in volleyball court. The spectators sent their most enthusiastic applause to the Asian players who entered Sunday’s final after such an amazing semi-final show.

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