Italy women retain World Cup volleyball title

Italy retained the Women’s World Cup volleyball title after the United States was swept by host Japan in the last match of the tournament at Yoyogi Stadium on Friday.

By (AP)

Published: Fri 18 Nov 2011, 9:07 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:24 AM

The Americans could have clinched their first World Cup title with a 3-0 or 3-1 win over Japan, but instead were routed 29-27, 25-23, 25-18. The Italians began celebrating as soon as the U.S. lost the second set, knowing the title was theirs.

Italy, which won its first World Cup in 2007, became the first team to hold the crown since Cuba won the last of its four successive World Cups in 1999.

Italy beat winless Kenya 25-6, 25-10, 25-17 to finish with a 10-1 record and put the pressure on the U.S.

“Returning to win after four years is really something that makes me very proud,” Italy coach Massimo Barbolini said. “This is a very difficult tournament and after winning 10 games, we deserved the victory. I’m really proud of my team.”

Italy guaranteed a berth in the London Olympics on Wednesday, and the U.S. on Thursday before its best-ever second placing in the Women’s World Cup.

China beat Germany 25-18, 25-18, 25-21 to clinch third place and the third qualifying spot for London, and edge Japan.

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