Incredible Rally | USA vs ITA | Women’s VNL 2019
The USA women’s team enter the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League as defending champions, after narrowly edging Turkey last year in the final in Nanjing for the inaugural title. They are also the reigning world champions and world number 2 in the FIVB rankings.
USA have won three silver and two bronze medals at the Olympic Games, although the gold medal still eludes them. They finished on the podium at Rio 2016, after defeating the Netherlands 3-1 in the bronze medal match.
Their best achievement came in 2014, when they won the FIVB World Championship for the first time with a 3-1 win over China in the final, after having collected two silver and two bronze medals in the previous editions. Last year, however, the failed to make it through to the medals round of the World Championship, eventually finishing 5th overall.
The team have won Pan American Games gold medals in 1967 and in 2015, making them the current holders of the crown. They have been on the podium of the NORCECA Championship in every single edition that they have competed in, except for 2009 when they finished fourth. This includes gold medals in the last three editions.
They are second only to Brazil in FIVB World Grand Prix gold medals, having collected six – the latest in 2015 at home in Omaha – in their 24 appearances. Additionally, they have also two bronze medals one silver medal in the event, the latter of which came in Bangkok in 2016.
The Italian women’s team sole World Championship triumph came in Germany in 2002 and came ever so close to repeating the feat last year, when they lost to Serbia in a thrilling five-set final in Yokohama. They had previously narrowly missed out on winning the bronze medal twice, losing the 2006 third place playoff in Osaka 3-0 to Serbia and Montenegro, and the 2014 playoff 3-2 to Brazil at home in Milan.
Italy have won the FIVB Volleyball World Cup twice, in 2007 and 2011, as well as the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup in 2009. They have also been consistent participants in the Olympic Games since Sydney 2000 and have made the quarterfinals three times: at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games. At Rio 2016, they finished in 9th place overall.
Italy took part in their 19th FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix in the last edition of the event in 2017, losing to Brazil in five sets in the final in Nanjing. This was the team’s third silver medal in the history of the competition, mirroring their 2004 and 2005 campaigns. Italy had also won World Grand Prix bronze medals in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.
On a continental level, Italy have won a host of medals at the European Championships, including gold in 2007 and 2009.