Conegliano0705

The defending champions had a dominant performance to take Monza down in three sets

Italian giants Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano are just one win away from their fifth Lega Pallavolo vivo Serie A1 Femminile title after they claimed their second victory over Vero Volley Monza in the Italian League Final Round on Saturday.

The winners of the last three editions of the league changed the scenario of their series against Monza with their straight-set (25-23, 25-12, 25-22) win in front of a sold-out crowd of over 5,000 fans at the Palaverde, in Treviso. The two previous matches of the best-of-five series had been won by the team that played on the road, and in five sets.

Imoco Volley Conegliano vs. Vero Volley Monza - Match Highlights

Conegliano could celebrate their fourth-straight Lega title as early as Tuesday, when the teams play in Monza for the fourth time at 20.45 CET / 18.45 GMT. If needed, a fifth and final match will be played on Saturday, at the same time, in Treviso.

Conegliano’s comfortable win showed on the stats sheet, as the defending champions vastly dominated Monza in every category of play. The Panthers significantly outscored their opponents in blocks (nine to one) and aces (seven to one) and hit at a 43% efficiency rate to Monza’s 33%.

“I think today we found our game and were able to play with serenity and have a lot of fun,” said middle blocker Raphaela Folie, who tallied six points (five kills, one block). “This match might have been shorter than the first two, but it was a battle too. We played a great match and won at an important moment, but the series is not over yet and I expect another battle on Tuesday. It was super exciting to secure this victory for our fans.”

Conegliano’s setter and captain Joanna Wolosz led Conegliano’s outstanding performance and took home the MVP award after she produced two points, both in aces. The Polish star also facilitated another impressive display by opposite Paola Egonu, who left the court as the match’s top scorer with 17 points (15 kills, one block, one ace).

American outside hitter Kathryn Plummer came up big again for the winners, registering 14 points (12 kills, one block, one ace), four more than Dutch middle blocker Robin de Kruijf, who had ten and a match-high three blocks.

“It was a big win for us and I feel like the match played out entirely different from the one on Tuesday,” Conegliano’s coach Daniele Santarelli commented. “We tried to be less anxious on the court and to play a little smarter from a tactical standpoint and focus on making the right choices. It wasn’t a perfect match, there were still moments in which we lost our focus, like at the end of the first set, when they almost came back. But I think today we showed the team we are – a team that play well in blocking and defence and are willing to work really hard to accomplish goals.”

Sylla Plummer

Sylla and Plummer strongly contributed to Conegliano's offence, combining for 22 points

Monza, who used all but one of their 14 available players as they attempted to fight back, had in Belgian opposite Lise van Hecke their most productive player with nine points (eight kills, one block). Outside hitters Jordan Larson and Hanna Daviskyba came right next, with eight points apiece.

“We want to return here for match five,” coach Marco Gaspari reacted. “There was a great team across the net today and when Conegliano play as they did tonight, there’s little to be done. We were really good in the first set, but not taking advantage of the opportunities we had made us pay a very high price. But I’m glad to see we can compete with Conegliano and if we want to beat them, we can’t let them run away with the score, because then things get way too complicated.”