Volleyball: China secure silver at Women’s World Championship
- Updated: October 13, 2014
October 13, 2014: USA won the FIVB Women’s World Championship for the first time by beating China 3-1 (27-25, 25-20, 16-25, 26-24) on Sunday night in front of 12,600 fans in Milan.
China, who had beaten hosts Italy 3-1 in Saturday’s semi-finals at the Mediolanum Forum, finished runners-up for the third time since winning back-to-back titles in 1982 and 1986. USA were only competing in the final for a second time, having lost 3-2 to Italy in 2002.
World No. 1 Brazil bagged the bronze after outlasting Italy 3-2 (25-15, 25-13, 22-25, 22-25, 15-7) in an epic five-set thriller earlier on Sunday.
Despite their legacy of success over the past three decades, USA had never won the any of the three major women’s international titles – World Championship, Olympic Games or World Cup.
Karch Kiraly, coach of the USA team, said: “We came here to make history and we made it. It was a tough battle, but we made it.”
USA’s own Kimberly Hill – later named tournament MVP – and Zeng Chunlei of China were the top scorers in the final with 20 points each, with Christa Harmotto Dietzen and 19-year-old Zhu Ting both adding 15 points. USA had the edge in both blocking (14-9) and serving (6-5).
USA captain Christa Dietzen said: “It’s the first time for the USA and we made it. We represented present and future volleyball programmes, but most importantly we did it together.”
USA had previously won two silver and two bronze medals at the World Championship and have become the third nation to complete the medal set following Russia/Soviet Union and Japan.
China coach Jenny Lang Ping was proud of her side, with outside spiker Zhu Ting and middle blocker Yang Junjing being named to the tournament’s Dream Team.
“I am very happy. I think our team played well today, but we would like to congratulate USA. They had fantastic work and a great team. It was a good experience for us and hopefully next year we can have good training to help our young players,” said Lang, who also commented on the difficulties of being a female coach.
“I think it is a hard job to coach at this level. Normally women have more responsibility for the family, but it is hard. In the USA, there are many women coaches at college level. We will have more, I think, I hope.”
In the bronze-medal match, Brazil overcame the disappointment of Saturday’s semi-final defeat to disappoint the hosts, who lost for the second straight day in front of a sellout crowd.
Italy’s Valentina Diouf was the match top scorer with 31 points, while Sheilla Castro contributed 21 kills for Brazil. Brazil had the edge in blocking (11-6), Italy in serving (7-5).
Brazil won silver medals in 1994, 2006 and 2010, and finished on the podium for the third time in a row with their first bronze. Italy equalled their second-best finish ever after winning in 2002 and also finishing fourth in 2006.
Brazil also surpassed Japan’s 87 wins at the World Championship and only Russia/Soviet Union have won more matches (120).
FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Italy 2014 Dream Team
Best Outside Spiker: Zhu Ting (China)
Second Best Outside Spiker: Kimberly Hill (USA)
Best Middle Blocker: Thaisa (Brazil)
Second Best Middle Blocker: Yang Junjing (China)
Best Libero: Monica DeGennaro (Italy)
Best Setter: Alisha Glass (USA)
Best Opposite: Sheilla Castro (Brazil)
Most Valuable Player: Kimberly Hill (USA)
1. USA; 2. China; 3. Brazil; 4. Italy; 5. Russia, Dominican Republic; 7. Japan, Serbia; 9. Germany, Turkey; 11. Belgium, Bulgaria; 13. Croatia, Netherlands; 15. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan; 17. Argentina, Canada, Thailand, Puerto Rico; 21. Tunisia, Cameroon, Mexico, Cuba
Top scoring performances
39 – Bethania De La Cruz De Peña of Dominican Republic v China on 9-10-14
37 – Bethania De La Cruz De Peña of Dominican Republic v China on 4-10-14
36 – Polina Rahimova of Azerbaijan v Croatia on 4-10-14
33 – Polina Rahimova of Azerbaijan v Japan on 23-9-14
32 – Polina Rahimova of Azerbaijan v Puerto Rico on 25-9-14
32 – Tatiana Kosheleva of Russia v Turkey on 2-10-14
32 – Zhu Ting of China v Italy on 11-10-14
Top blocking performances
10 – Kubra Akman of Turkey v Bulgaria on 25-9-14
9 – Zhu Ting of China v Japan on 28-9-14
Top serving performances
6 – Regla Gracia Gonzalez of Cuba v Azerbaijan on 29-9-14
5 – Mizuho Ishida of Japan v Azerbaijan on 23-9-14
5- Margareta Kozuch of Germany v Croatia on 28-9-14
5- Valentina Diouf of Italy v China on 11-10-14
Top team blocking performances
24- Brazil v Turkey on 27-9-14
19- China v Japan on 28-9-14
Top team serving performances
13- Azerbaijan v Croatia on 4-10-14
13- Croatia v Tunisia on 27-9-14
12- Germany v Croatia on 28-9-14
Highest scoring sets
36-34 Thailand v Mexico (2nd set) on 25-9-14
34-32 USA v Russia (1st set) on 28-9-14
32-30 Netherlands v Mexico (1st set) on 28-9-14
Highest scoring matches
220 – USA v Russia 3-1 (34-32, 25-19, 29-31, 26-24) on 28-9-14
218- Azerbaijan v Puerto Rico 3-2 (25-20, 24-26, 26-24, 16-25, 17-15) on 25-9-14
218- Croatia v Dominican Republic 2-3 (22-25, 13-25, 25-22, 26-24, 17-19) on 25-9-14
218- Turkey v Russia 3-2 (19-25, 25-27, 25-22, 25-22, 15-13) on 2-10-14
218- China v Dominican Republic 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-12) on 9-10-14
Source: FIVB (www.fivb.org); Editing by SportAsia