The recently ended Women’s WCH presented fans with masterful performances from the world’s best players.
18-year old Li Yingying finally earned her time in the spotlight, racking up a match-high 20 points as China secured its second straight World Championships medal on Saturday, a bronze medal sweep of the Netherlands.
Paola Egonu piled up a tournament scoring record 45 points (39 kills, 5 aces and a block) and Italy bested China in kills and aces in a five-set win to earn its first World Championships finals berth since 2002.
Zhu Ting led the way as China rallied for a 5-set win over the United States to open Final Six play at the World Championships leaving the Americans in a must-win situation on Monday against the Netherlands.
The star of the show thus far in the World Championships has been Italy’s Paola Egonu. The 19-year old has notched 182 total points (150 kills, 17 blocks, 15 aces) and also ranks among the top 10 in aces and kills.
Zhang Changning has been included after being sent home from the Asian Games to rehab a knee injury.
The loss of one star, plus the return of another, saw Thailand into the gold medal match for the first time in tournament history.
If Xu is able to play at the 2018 World Championships, it will provide China with badly-needed depth at middle blocker.
Zhang missed the Nations League, but is included on China’s roster for the Asian Games. So too is Yi Lingling, though she’s been moved to a different position.
The U.S. Women’s National Team swept Serbia to move on to the semifinals with Turkey, Brazil & China in the 2018 Volleyball Nations League.