Montreux, Switzerland, September 9, 2018 – Nineteen-year-old standout Paola Egonu turned in a huge performance to seal Italy’s first Montreux Volley Masters gold medal in 14 years.
Egonu was at the forefront of Italy’s charge as she fired 26 points to overcome the Russians in the thrilling 3-0 (25-21, 30-28, 26-24) finale on Sunday at the Salle Omnisports du Pierrier, where the team won its first Volley Masters gold medal in 2004.
Egonu collected the MVP plum after leading her team in scoring. The young player was the centre of offence for the Italian side, delivering clutch points for the team, including closing the second and third sets in the final.
After losing their first match to Turkey in the preliminary round, the Italians rallied to four consecutive wins that led them to the top podium spot. The Italian victory sparked a positive run ahead which the team will hope to carry into their campaign at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in Japan from September 29 to October 20.
In the previous edition of the World Championship, the team finished fourth on home soil. They are looking to make a repeat of their gold medal performance at the 2002 World Championship in Germany.
Montreux Volley Masters runners-up Russia also made an impressive mark in the competition, proving they will be tough contenders in the World Championship even without their main hitter Tatiana Kosheleva, who is still recuperating from a knee injury.
Meanwhile, Volleyball Nations League silver medallists Turkey are back on the podium with a bronze, following their hard-earned 3-2 (25-16, 26-18, 23-25, 20-25, 15-13) victory over Brazil.Final Standing
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