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10/09/2018 19:44
The MVP of #EuroVolleyU19W dreams of winning Gold from the Olympics
2019 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship - Women

Tirana, Albania, September 10, 2018. Italy were crowned the new champions of #EuroVolleyU19W after a great comeback in the final vs. Russia, saving two match points and surging back from 0-2 to 3-2. It’s been eight years since Italy won their last gold medals in this age group, as this happened in 2010 in Serbia after a decade of Italian dominance in the competition. In total Italy have been crowned #EuroVolleyU19W champions six times before 2018, winning the title for the very first time in 1996. Additionally, the Italians have won four silver medals and two times bronze. 

After the match on Sunday, Italy’s players sang and danced around the ‘Feti Borova’ sport hall, enjoying the moment to the fullest. The Italian team worked as a real machine during all the tournament, that was held in Albania from September 1 to 9, winning all their seven matches. 

However, there was one player that was always taking the initiative in the most important and difficult moments, keeping calm and leading her teammates towards the victory.

And the name of this player is Valeria Battista – the eventual MVP of the 2018 CEV U19 Volleyball European Championship - Women. 

Valeria says that it was a big honour for her to receive the award and to having played at this competition.

Valeria, who made her debut in the Italian Serie A at the tender age of 16.

Valeria, who in this exact debut scored 16 points, making it obvious for everyone that the future ahead of her is bright.

But how did she start with Volleyball?

“I started playing when I was ten years old and I was having a lot of fun. I continued with Volleyball because of this, but also because with this sport I can express myself. To me, this is the best sport.” 

Bergamo is the place where she first felt the emotion of being professional and also she realised Volleyball requires a lot of dedication: “At the age of 13 I joined the team of Bergamo, where I learnt a lot. Now I am part of Club Italia Crai – some of my teammates in the National team are also there and this is very good for us.”

Valeria says that there isn’t a secret on how to win an European Championship. Or maybe is there one?

“The only secret is to work hard. Winning the final match vs. Russia is something very important for us. In the beginning of this summer everyone was thinking that we cannot achieve great things. But in Albania we showed that we actually can.” 

However, the victory over Russia, who in 2016 grabbed the gold from #EuroVolleyU19W and arrived in Tirana as reigning champions, was not easy for Italy, Valeria says: “Winning over Russia from 0-2 to 3-2 was very, very hard. But I am happy that we stuck together, we helped each other and we won the final!”

Valeria Battista has the attitude and the character of a leader, of a winner. And she won’t stop here. 

“I will continue to work hard, every day, step by step. I have a dream. And this dream is winning gold from the Olympic Games.” 

Click here for further information.

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