Ankara, Turkey, August 17, 2015 – Italy needed an extra effort to overpower Egypt 3-2 (22-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-15, 15-12) in Pool A of the 2015 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U23 World Championship on Monday afternoon. It were the two first set wins for Egypt in Ankara, Turkey.
Italy’s Sara Bonifacio scored 22 points for the winners and Aya Elshamy was Monday’s top scorer for Egypt with 23 points each. Italy had the edge in spiking (63-53), blocking (13-10) and serving (6-5).
The match started off with a major surprise as Egypt jumped out for a five-point lead at 18-13 in the opening set. The Africans displayed huge determination and power while Italy didn’t find their rhythm in the early stages of the game. By committing twelve errors, the South Europeans literally offered Egypt their first set win (25-22) at women’s U23 world champs.
Egypt kept momentum in the second set as well. Even though the Azzurrine did their utmost to close the gap, a three-point run from 16-15 to 19-15 was good enough for the young Africans to pull through. Farah Ahmed closed it out for Egypt at 25-22 to give her side an unexpected 2-0 set lead. The squadra azzurra had reduced their mistakes from twelve to five in the second set, the Egyptians – on the other hand – controlled the match with a strong offense.
Two sets down, Italy eventually regained focus in the third set. The team of coach Luca Cristofani increased their pressure on the Egyptians passers to give the African spikers a hard time. As a consequence, the Italians won the third set 25-21 and the fourth 25-15.
The story of the match didn’t change in the fifth and last set. Even though Egypt never gave up, Italy kept control of the match and never looked back until 15-12.