Egonu, Sylla steer Italy to 3-0 victory over Turkey


Miryam Sylla scored 13 points as Italy beat Turkey

 Sapporo, Japan, October 3, 2018 – Paola Egonu was Italy’s top scorer for the fourth match running as they dominated Turkey 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-12) on the fourth day of action in the FIVB World Championship at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center on Wednesday. 

Egonu scored 15 points, including two aces, and was supported by Miryam Sylla with 13. Anna Danesi had five blocks in her nine points. Turkey captain Eda Erdem Dundar led her team with eight points.

It was the third time the two teams had played in the World Championship and Italy have won all three matches 3-0, although Turkey beat Italy 3-0 in this year’s Nations League.

Italy are now 4-0 in the tournament, while Turkey dropped to 2-2.

The match started as close and intense as expected and it was all-square to 8-8 with Sylla kicking off Italy’s attack with a couple of big hits and Zehra Gunes getting a great early block on Italy’s top scorer Egonu. Meryem Boz gifted Italy an easy point with a netted serve to make the score 9-8, Anna Danesi then blocked Seyma Ercan and Italy pulled away from there. Turkey pulled back from 21-16 to 22-19, forcing Italy to call a timeout, but spikes by Sylla and Cristina Chirichella – the latter set up by a super serve from Egonu – brought up setpoint and Egonu delivered a pumping service ace to put Italy 1-0 up.

Successive blocks by Danesi helped move Italy into a 4-0 lead at the start of the second set but three straight errors saw Turkey take the lead at 13-12. A brilliant set by Cansu Ozbay allowed Eda Erdem Dundar to smash a ball through the Italian defence and put Turkey 14-12 up. Timeout Italy. Then Turkey started to get sloppy and Italy regained the lead at 16-15 when Ebrar Karakurt pushed a ball long. Turkey pulled to within a point at 19-18 when Gunes blocked Egonu, but three good Italian blocks halted Turkey’s challenge and a spike by Sylla saw Italy go 2-0 up.

In the third set, the Turkey that fought so hard against China didn’t show up. To be fair, the Italians were defending superbly and neutralising the Turks’ big guns. On the other side of the net, Sylla and Egonu were firing hot and Italy’s blocks were getting better and better. Karakurt hit the ball wide to bring up matchpoint and Danesi ended Turkey’s turmoil.