Serbia crowned World Champions

Yokohama, Japan, October 20, 2018. The Gold medal match of the 2018 FIVB Women 's Volleyball World Championship lived up to the name as it took Serbia five sets of intense Volleyball to edge Italy and claim the World Championship title for the first time in their history. The Netherlands lost to China in the Bronze medal match, yet achieved their best ever result in a major global competition - to go with their fourth place from the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Both Italy and Serbia took turns at claiming set wins in the final match at Yokohama Arena. The Azzurre claimed the first set, but the Serbian side dominated the second, but after winning the third set the Italians could no longer interfere with the focus and determination of the reigning European champions, who showed how badly they wanted the Gold medals. With a 3-2 (21-25, 25-14, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12) win, Serbia wrote a completely new page in the history book of Volleyball in their country as the previous best achievement for the Balkan country was bronze at the 2006 World Championship - and silver from the Rio 2016 Olympics. Serbia are only the third European team to claim the global crown, after the USSR / Russia did so seven times (1952, 1956, 1960, 1970, 1990, 2006, 2010) and Italy once (in 2002).

Even though Italy could not repeat their gold medal winning performance from 16 years ago in Berlin, the Azzurre celebrated their second best result to date - and second podium finish in the history of the FIVB World Championship.

During the whole World Championship 19-year-old Paola Egonu showed wonders on court, playing a huge role in Italy 's success. The young Italian ends the championship on 324 points, which make her the Best scorer of the tournament. Egonu was also the best scorer of the Final with 33 points, while the newly crowned World Champion Serbian Tijana Boškovic recorded 26 to her name.

Earlier in the day Rio 2016 Olympic Champions China crushed hopes of an all-European podium at the World Championship by cruising past the Netherlands in the Bronze medal match in straight sets. After the 0-3 (22-25, 19-25, 14-25) loss, the Oranjes had to be content with what is still the best result of the women 's National team in Dutch Volleyball history. Lonneke Slöetjes led the Netherlands with 15 points in the loss, the Dutch star showed top class performance on court throughout the last three weeks, making her the second best scorer of the tournament with 276 points, losing only to the Italian sensation Egonu. Slöetjes also rests at the top of the best server 's list with 27 aces to her name.

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