The Lega Pallavolo vivo Serie A1 Femminile season came to an end in spectacular fashion on Tuesday as Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano came out on top of an exciting five-set battle against Vero Volley Monza to claim their fourth consecutive and fifth overall Italian title.
Brilliant Egonu shines as Conegliano win fifth Scudetto in 2021/22
The Italian League MVP and star opposite delivers 37 points in decisive victory against Monza.
Published 06:35, 11 May 2022
Playing on the road, at the Monza Arena, Conegliano produced a dominant fifth-set performance to win 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-8) and end the best-of-five series that decided the Italian League 3-1, maintaining their supremacy in the country.
Conegliano have now won five of the last six editions of the Italian League – 2015-2016, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 – and have, for a second straight season, completed the ‘Italian treble’, triumphing in the country’s League, Cup and Supercup.
“It was a beautiful Final Round and I want to congratulate Monza because they never gave up,” said Conegliano star libero Monica De Gennaro. “We had to give everything we had and then some more to win. It was probably the most difficult final we ever had, but once again we got to show how strong this group is. I want to dedicate this victory to (injured middle blocker) Sarah Fahr, who could not be with us.”
This season’s campaign, which featured 30 wins and just four losses, was highlighted by Conegliano breaking the Guinness World Record held by Turkey’s VakifBank Istanbul for the most consecutive wins across all competitions at 76, in an unbeaten run that lasted 720 days.
Before releasing several of their players to represent their national teams in the upcoming 2022 Volleyball Nations League, the Panthers will try to repeat what they did in 2020-2021 and also win the CEV Champions League title. Conegliano will face reigning world champions VakifBank on May 22 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, when they will be looking for their second continental trophy.
Head coach Daniele Santarelli got strong performances from his star players in the most important match of the season, especially star opposite Paola Egonu, who left the court with 37 points (35 kills, two blocks) to her name.
The 23-year-old Italian international, who was handed the season MVP award at the end of the match, came up clutch in the tie-breaker, and was responsible for nine of Conegliano’s 15 points, scoring more points than Monza’s entire team put together.
“It was an amazing final series and I want to congratulate Conegliano’s and Monza’s fans for the atmosphere they created in every match,” she reacted. “We came here determined to win, but it was a very difficult match. We never gave up, always kept pushing and only stopped when it was time to celebrate this victory that means so much to us. But the season is not over yet and we'll quickly start thinking about the Champions League final.”
Conegliano's four other starting hitters had good showings too, with outside hitters Kathryn Plummer and Miryam Sylla scoring 16 and ten points respectively and middle blockers Robin De Kruijf and Raphaela Folie tallying ten and nine.
Monza, who used 12 of their 14 available players during the match, ended the season proud of their campaign – the team ranked third in the regular season with 20 wins and six losses advanced to the Final Round for the first time after finishing third in 2020-2021.
“Congratulations to Conegliano, not only for the Scudetto but for how they were able to remain steady after we pushed them in matches three and four,” Monza’s coach Marco Gaspari reflected. “I’m really proud of my team. We gave 110% and ended the season with nothing to regret. We lost two matches in tie-breakers and these sets could have been different, but thinking about it won’t do us any good. I just want to congratulate everyone because we tried until the end, but they were better.”
Tokyo Olympics MVP Jordan Larson was the team’s most productive player in the final match of the season as the American outside hitter produced 16 points (14 kills, two blocks), one more than Belgian opposite Lise Van Hecke.