Undefeated Italy eye semis ticket against hosts Japan


Nagoya, Japan, October 15, 2018 - Italy will look for their 10th straight win and for a semifinals slot in the FIVB Women's World Championship as they face Japan on Monday evening in front of the home crowd in Nippon Gaishi Hall. 

 · These nations will meet for the sixth time at the World Championship. Italy won three of the previous five encounters. Japan won on two occasions.
· These countries most recently met at the World Championship in 2014, when Italy claimed a 3-0 win over Japan in the second round (25-23, 25-20, 25-19).
· Japan's last win over Italy at the World Championship was a 3-0 group stage victory in 1966 (15-11, 15-10, 15-7).
· Last May, Japan beat Italy in five sets in the Nations League, ending a five-match losing streak versus Italy in world level major competitions (Nations League, Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup, World Grand Prix and Grand Champions Cup).

· Italy will reach the semifinals with a win against Japan. They previously played in the semifinals in 2002 (champions), 2006 (fourth place) and 2014 (fourth place).
· Italy are the only unbeaten team left at the 2018 World Championship (W9-L0). In 2010, Russia (W10-L0) were the last nation to win all their matches, en route to their World Championship title.
· Italy's nine-match winning run is their longest unbeaten streak in World Championship history.
· Paola Ogechi Egonu scored 182 points in the first two rounds of the 2018 World Championship, more than any other player.
· Egonu was Italy's top scorer in eight of Italy's nine matches at the 2018 World Championship. Egonu scored a match-high 33 points in their last match, a 3-1 win over United States in the second round.

· Japan need to beat Italy in order to keep a chance of reaching the semifinals.
· Japan recorded a top-four finish in each of their first seven World Championship appearances (1960-1982), but managed to do so only once in their last eight: third in 2010.
· Japan have lost their last two World Championship matches, 3-2 versus Brazil and 3-0 against Serbia. They have not lost three successive matches in a single World Championship since losing their last three fixtures in 1990.
· Sarina Koga is Japan's leading points scorer this tournament on 140 points. Miyu Nagaoka and Ai Kurogo both follow on 101 points.


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