Paola Egonu leads Italy to European glory against Serbia

Star spiker top scores with 28 points as Italy stun the Belgrade crowd by avenging their Olympic quarter-final defeat to the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Italy came from behind to beat hosts Serbia 3-1 in the CEV EuroVolley 2021 women's final in Belgrade on Saturday (4 September).

Paola Egonu scored 28 points and Miryam Sylla 20, including the title clincher, to stun the fans inside the Stark Arena who had been hoping Serbia would complete a hat-trick of European titles.

Serbia's star opposite hitter Tijana Boskovic converted her side's third set point to take the opener 26-24, but her 20-point haul proved in vain.

The home team led 22-20 in the second set but Egonu's spike started a run of five straight points which saw Italy take it 25-22.

The third set started very much in Serbia's favour as they opened up a five-point advantage, but Egonu and Sylla were in superb form as the women in blue came back to go into the lead.

And the Olympic bronze medallists had no response in the fourth as Italy, who had gone down to Serbia in the 2018 World Championship final and the quarter-finals at Tokyo 2020, roared to victory 24-26, 25-22, 25-19, 25-11.

This was Italy's third European women's volleyball title and their first since 2009 with Egonu named tournament MVP.