Italy's Paola Egonu shines in World Grand Prix


Paola Egonu is the top scorer in Group 1 of the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix

Lausanne, Switzerland, July 18, 2017 – After two weeks of play, Italy’s young prodigy Paola Egonu leads the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix Group 1 best scorer and best spiker rankings.

The 1.90m-tall opposite is the top scorer in Group 1 so far with 117 points. She is also top spiker with a success rate of 54.44 per cent.

After scoring 39 points in Italy's 3-2 win against Russia in the first week, Egonu again made her mark in payback wins over China and USA in Week 2. She logged 31 points against six-time World Grand Prix winners USA, then contributed 21 points to her team’s cause against Rio 2016 gold medallists China.

“She is so young, but so important to our team,” said Italy coach Davide Mazanti.

Egonu is also Italy’s weapon of choice when it comes to the serve. With an average of 0.48 aces per set, she is the second best performer in the skill in Group 1 behind USA’s Michelle Bartsch-Hackley, who has averaged 0.56.

The Netherlands’ Celeste Plak and Serbia’s Brankica Mihajlovic led their teams in the opening weekend, and currently share third place in the Group 1 best scorer list with 102 points apiece, behind Egonu and Brayelin Martinez of the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic also have a strong presence in the individual statistics lists with Annerys Vargas leading as the best blocker in Group 1 with an average of one block per set, while libero Brenda Castillo has an average of 3.64 digs per set.

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Thailand playmaker Nootsara Tomkom is the group’s best setter, while China libero Li Lin is the best receiver.

Group 1 statistics - Click here.

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In Group 2, Poland are second overall behind Korea. Poland, however, have players excelling in five of the seven individual categories.

Malwina Smarzek is the best spiker with a success rate of 49.72 per cent. Agnieszka Kakolewska tops the list of best blockers with an average of one block per set. Poland captain Joana Wolosz is the top server, while libero Agata Witkowska is the best digger with an average of 6.75 per set. Witkowska is also second in the list of best receivers, behind her teammate Martyna Grajber.

“We have good individual players, but the most important thing is that we show character as a team,” Poland coach Jacek Nawrocki said.

Karina Ocasio of Puerto Rico and Angela Leyva of Peru are the top two scorers in Group 2 with a total of 107 and 104 points, respectively. However their teams are currently a long way from qualifying for the Final Four, with identical win-loss records of three wins and three losses. Colombian setter Maria Alejandra Marin is the best setter in Group 2 with an average of 11.75 sets.

Group 2 statistics - Click here.

Group 3 pool play is now completed after two weekends of play. Australia, who will host the Group 3 Finals in Canberra on July 22 and 23, have Rachel Rourke - the best scorer across all three groups. The attacker tallied a total of 120 points, including 21 aces, also making her the best server in the group.

World Grand Prix newcomers France, who are also qualified for the Group 3 Finals, have the best digger and best receiver – Alexandra Rochelle. Edina Dobi is the best blocker in Group 3 and was instrumental in the success of debutants Hungary who cruised to the Final Four with an unbeaten record. Mexico have two players at the top of the statistical charts – best setter Sashiko Sanay and best spiker Lizbeth Sainz.

Group 3 statistics - Click here.


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