After more than six weeks of play, including three preliminary rounds in different countries, Italy emerged Sunday as the winner of the women’s Volleyball Nations League by sweeping Brazil 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 in Ankara, Türkye.

“I am super happy and proud of us, because it’s the first time winning the VNL. Now we can finally go on vacation!” said Italy’s Paolo Egonu, who was named the MVP of the finals.

“As I always say, I can get a player award, but what’s more important is that I am happy we work together as a team.”

Egonu’s will be a well-deserved vacation after she led with 18 kills, three blocks and four digs in the final. That came on the heels of 22-kill performance in the semifinals when Italy beat Serbia in four. She also had three blocks, an ace and two digs.

Paolo Egonu passes against Brazil/Volleyball World photo

Watch Egonu’s offensive highlights in the final here.

Against Brazil, teammate Chiara Bosetti had 10 kills, an ace and three digs. She had nine kills, a block, an ace and 16 digs in the semifinals.

Kisy Nascimento led Brazil with 12 kills, a block, an ace and two digs. Georgia Tech’s Julia Bergmann capped an up-and-down VNL for her with three kills and five digs.

In the match for third place, Serbia swept Türkye 27-25, 25-17, 26-24. Sara Loza led Serbia with 18 kills, a block and five digs.

In the semifinals Italy swept Türkye 25-18, 28-26, 25-22 and Brazil beat Serbia 14-25, 25-18, 26-24, 25-19. In that match, Bergmann had 15 kills, an ace and seven digs.

Now the attention switches back to the men, whose quarterfinals start Wednesday in Bologna, Italy, when the USA men play Brazil and Italy plays the Netherlands. Thursday, France faces Japan and Poland plays Iran.

On June 11 in Brazil, the USA men beat Brazil in four behind an unlikely leader, Jake Hanes, who had 17 kills, two blocks, an ace and seven digs.

Paolo Egonu attacks for Italy against Brazil/Volleyball World photo

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