NANJING, China, Aug.3 (Xinhua) -- Paola Egonu scored 32 points to lead Italy to a 3-1 win over the United States here on Thursday, securing a semifinal spot in the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Finals. Brazil also marked a crucial 3-2 win over the Netherlands in another pool game.
Egonu showed overwhelming power over the net as she scored 24 attacks, six blocks and two aces to lead Italy to a 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 25-21 victory. Caterina Bosetti added 10 points. Andrea Drews top the American team with 16 points, while Lauren Gibbemeyer added 13 points.
Suffering their second defeat in the Finals, the United States was eliminated from the semifinals of the tournament, while Italy will play against Serbia to fight for the top place of the Pool K.
Karch Kiraly, head coach of the United States, was disappointed with the elimination. "Italy played a very good match. They have been a very strong team after they started with a couple of losses," said Kiraly.
"I am disappointed to lose this match because this means we are done with the tournament. We had a challenging schedule, which was the best opportunity to learn." he added.
Later on Thursday, Tandara Caixeta and Rosamaria Montibeller hit the 20-point mark to provide Brazil with the 25-27, 25-23, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11 win over the Netherlands in a Pool J match.
Tandara and Rosamaria led Brazil with 25 and 22 points. Brazil benefitted from their 17 blocks and made lesser errors than their rivals in the tightly contested match. Celeste Plak headed the Netherlands with a match-high 28 points.