The debut of some key starters made Italy stronger for the second week of the Volleyball Nations League 2022 and the reigning European champions took full advantage to leave Brasilia, Brazil, with a perfect record of four wins.
Italy block Brazil to finish perfect VNL Week 2
With 15 blocks, the Italians secure their fourth win in a productive week in Brasilia
Published 06:23, 19 Jun 2022
After triumphs against Serbia, the Dominican Republic and Germany over the week, the Europeans completed their schedule in an emphatic way, downing hosts and Tokyo Olympic silver medallists Brazil 3-1 (25-17, 25-15, 14-25, 25-14) at the Nilson Nelson stadium on Saturday.
Blocking was the clear difference between the teams as the Italians stopped their opponents at the net on an impressive 15 occasions, registering three times more blocks than their rivals, who tallied just five stuffs.
The excellent Italian blocking performance was led by 25-year-old middle blocker Sara Bonifacio, who had seven blocks of her own, more than the entire Brazilian team. She also had three kills to end the match with ten points to her name.
Sara Bonifacio Successful Blocks Leader in Italy vs. Brazil
Paola Egonu was the only Italian player to produce more points than Bonifacio. The 23-year-old star opposite left the court with a match-high 22 points after she tallied 20 kills and two blocks to lead her team’s scoring efforts.
“We did a really good job, I’m really proud of the way we played today,” she commented. “Brazil is an excellent team and they do everything very well. Our blocking was really good, but our defence was too. I’m really proud of the team and of how we could get out of difficult situations. We had some really important victories this week and can’t wait to play in Bulgaria in two weeks.”
Paola Ogechi Egonu Points Made Leader in Italy vs. Brazil
While the Italians are ready to return home and focus on the third week of the VNL, in which they will face Poland, Korea, Bulgaria and Thailand from June 28-July 3 in Sofia, Bulgaria, the Brazilians have a final match in front of their fans, against Serbia, on Sunday, at 10.00 local time (13.00 GMT).