BELGRADE, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) — European champions Serbia lost their title to Italy after enduring a 3-1 (24-26, 25-22, 25-19, 25-11) defeat in the final of the Women’s European Volleyball Championship on Saturday at the Belgrade Arena.

Cheered by the local fans, the Serbian team took the lead after a fierce first set, which they won by just a tight two-point margin.

The Italians dominated the second and third sets to overturn the scoreboard, before Serbia, the Olympic bronze medalists in Tokyo this summer, gave up chasing their third consecutive European gold, allowing their opponents to climb to the European throne.

Paola Ogechu Egonu was unstoppable with 28 points for the Italians, while Tijana Boskovic stood out with 20 points scored for the losing team.

Previously Turkey slammed Netherlands 3-0 in the battle for the third place of the tournament, held in Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania from August 18 to September 4, with 24 teams competing for a place in the final in the Serbian capital.

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