WATCH LIVE: Two of the Top Arms Meet in the Semis as China Faces Italy

  0 Derek Johnson | August 04th, 2017 | Asian Volleyball, European volleyball, FIVB World Grand Prix, International Volleyball


  • Group 1 Semifinals
  • August 5th, 2017
  • Nanjing, China
  • FIVB World Grand Prix, Semifinals Match #2
  • Schedule/Results

After a 33-point performance yesterday, China’s Zhu Ting continued to show why she is one of the best players in the world. Italy’s young and powerful arm, Paola Ogechi Egonu, is en route to stardom as well, as the 18-year-old posted 32-points in a win over the United States a few days ago. Now, in a match that will advance either China or Italy beyond the semifinals, the established star takes on the up-and-comer for a shot at the 2017 FIVB World Grand Prix championship.

China only got into the Final Six on the premise that they were hosting, as they finished at 5-4 during pool play, which put them in seventh place. It’s fair to say though that they may not have rested Ting as much had they known it was necessary to place in the top six. Nonetheless, the defending Olympic Gold-Medalists took advantage of their advancement as they went 2-0 to win Pool J1 and sit at 7-4 overall right now. They’re looking to win their second ever World Grand Prix, which last happened in 2003.

Italy just last their last match to Serbia as they also are 7-4 overall. It’s been a nice turnaround for the European side, as they started 0-2 and have won seven of nine. They’re guaranteed a top-four finish now for the first time since 2010, when they collected a bronze-medal. They have more to conquer than just a top-four finish at this stage though, as they can appear in the World Grand Prix Championship for the first time since 2005.

These two nations will be playing each other for the third time in this edition of the World Grand Prix. China won 3-1 in front of a home crowd, as they have today. In the second meeting, Italy swept the Asian side. This meeting not only stands as the tiebreaker, but it comes with extra importance as the winner will head to the finals. Ting and Egonu might be in a race to 30, and whichever has a better match may result in their team’s victory.

Watch the full live video below:

Editor’s note: Video not made available in the United States. If you are not in the United States, but an error in YouTube’s geolocation service is still blocking your access, you can use a program like TunnelBear to redirect to the proper country.

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