Marco Mencarelli: Our block did a great job


Italy coach Marco Mencarelli behind the huddle of his players during the semifinal with China at the 2019 FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship in Ismailia.

Ismailia, Egypt, September 13, 2019 - Italy pulled off an amazing feat here Friday night, coming back from two sets down to hand China their first defeat in the competition and earn their place in the final of the 2019 FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship. Here's the reaction from the two sides after the match:

Italy coach, Marco Mencarelli: We managed to win a crucial match for two reasons: Firstly, we changed our strategy of the match and improved in many items, and secondly, China's performance dropped after they won the first and second sets. After we dropped two sets we improved our reception compared to the beginning of the match. Also our block did a great job against the Chinese attack. We did the same like we did before against USA in the group match. Now we are looking forward to meeting USA in the final for the second time. We have to prepare well mentally for this game.

Italy captain, Sofia Monza: I'm very happy to have won this game after a great performance. China are a very strong team, and coming back like this is great for my team. The best positive thing is that we came back to the game after a very difficult situation.

China coach Yu Changwen behind his player Zhuang Yushan in the semifinals of the 2019 FIVB Girls' U18 World Championship in Ismailia.

China coach, Yu Changwen: My team played a good game, but unfortunately we couldn't continue the same rhythm. It was a very important match for my players but they couldn't keep the pace after we led 2-0.

China captain, Wu Mengjie: We had bad luck today. We started very well, but it was important to continue the same in the third set. We should have persisted to win the third set, because we knew the Italians would comeback strong.

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