Yokohama, Japan, October 18, 2018 - Paola Egonu scored a match-high 45 points as Italy downed China 3-2 (25-18, 21-25, 25-16, 29-31, 17-15) in the semifinals of the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship on Friday night. The Italian captain said her squad executed at the key points in the win.
Italy coach Davide Mazzanti: I am happy for the great opportunity to play in the final. It was a tough match. It hurt to lose the fourth set. I told the players before the fifth set how to adapt to Zhu Ting's play. Our players were very affected after the fourth set, so you can't give them too much information at that point. Before the match I didn't say much. We have players who are rich in emotion and I don't want to make them more emotional unnecessarily. We beat China once last year and that gave us confidence against them.
Italy captain Cristina Chirichella: It was really a fierce match. China gave us troubles. We were able to execute our attacks in the end. Our team is a little crazy, but we can execute. The fact we are young is not important. Losing the fourth set was tough, but in this match we were going point by point. We took it as part of the battle and looked at the fifth set as another match beginning.
China coach Lang Ping: In the end we lost an excellent match. Our players played very hard. We have many players with potential and need them to play to a higher level. We will do our best tomorrow.
China captain Zhu Ting: It's too bad we lost. It was an excellent match. We will try hard tomorrow to play better than today.