The Lega Pallavolo Serie A Femminile is set to start its 2022-2023 season on October 22-23, when 14 Italian clubs will start the battle for the title in one of the strongest leagues in the world.
A quick guide to the Lega Pallavolo Femminile's 14 clubs
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Published 09:00, 19 Oct 2022
The team from Perugia is set to begin its fourth-straight campaign in the Italian elite after winning the country’s second division title in 2018-2019. The side will be looking to make their first playoff appearance after ranking tenth in the regular season last year with a campaign of seven wins and 19 losses.
A member of the Italian national team that won gold at this year’s Volleyball Nations League, outside hitter Anastasia Guerra is among the most experienced players on their roster alongside Dutch middle blocker Tessa Polder. Some of the team’s most promising young talents are American opposite Stephanie Samedy and Italians Beatrice Gardini (the daughter of the legendary Andrea Gardini) and Linda Nwakalor (the younger sister of VNL and European champion Sylvia Nwakalor).
CBF Balducci HR Macerata
Created in 2017, the club from Macerata will make its debut in the Lega Pallavolo Femminile after finishing second in the Italian second division last season. Macerata have also had podium appearances in the last two editions of the Italian Cup A2, winning the title in 2020-2021 and ranking third last year.
The roster assembled for this season's historic campaign includes a mix of players with experience in the Italian elite, including setter Irene Ricci, libero Silvia Fiori and outside hitter Alessia Fiesoli, and international athletes, including American outside hitter Symone Abbott, Israeli opposite Polina Malik and Polish outside hitter Aleksandra Lipska, who returns after a successful season in her home country with Chemik Police.
Cuneo Granda S.Bernardo
The 2022-2023 season will be the fifth for Cuneo in the Italian elite after the club earned promotion in 2017-2018. The team’s last campaign was its best to date. Besides making it to the playoffs in seventh place with 13 wins and 13 losses, the side also had its best result in the Italian Cup with a fifth-place finish.
French national team opposite Lucille Gicquel and Italian setter Noemi Signorile are two key returning players for the team, which will also feature American national team outside hitter Danielle Drews, Hungarian outside hitter Greta Szakmary and libero Lara Caravello, who was signed from defending champions Conegliano.
E-Work Busto Arsizio
The fifth-best team in the Italian League last season with a campaign of 16 wins and ten losses, Busto will attempt to return to the country’s top three for the first time since 2013-2014, when they took silver. National champions in 2011-2012, the side won the Italian Cup in that same season and has earned three CEV Cup titles already.
The roster led by head coach Marco Musso was significantly revamped following last season, with middle blocker Rossella Olivotto and libero Giorgia Zannoni standing out as the main returners. Among the new additions are Olympic medallists Rosamaria Montibeller (Brazil) and Carli Lloyd (USA), Italian VNL champions Alice Degradi and Loveth Omoruyi and German outside hitter Lena Stigrot.
Igor Gorgonzola Novara
Novara finished in the top three of the Italian League in each of the last five seasons, winning one gold, three silvers and a bronze in the period. Since they joined the country’s elite in 2013-2014, they have also won three Italian Cups, one Italian Supercup and one CEV Champions League title.
Several new faces were added to the team in 2022-2023 and the strong core of Ebrar Karakurt, Caterina Bosetti, Cristina Chirichella, Sara Bonifacio and Eleonora Fersino will now be joined by Olympic champion setter Jordyn Poulter, outside hitters Kenia Carcaces and McKenzie Adams and Italian national team middle blocker Anna Danesi.
Il Bisonte Firenze
When Firenze ranked eighth in 2021-2022 with a campaign of 13 wins and 13 losses, they also completed their fifth consecutive playoff run since joining the Lega Pallavolo in 2014-2015. Their best finishes to far were sevenths in 2018-2019 and 2020-2021.
The team continues with its philosophy of giving young and promising players an opportunity to shine, but will this year have tremendous offensive power with the VNL’s top scorer Britt Herbots joining the club to play alongside fellow Belgian outside hitter Celine van Gestel and Italian national team opposite Sylvia Nwakalor.
Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia
After missing the playoffs with a campaign of eight wins and 18 losses, which placed them in ninth in their first season in the Italian elite, Vallefoglia will try to take another step forward in 2022-2023 with new head coach Andrea Mafrici.
Russian star outside hitter Tatiana Kosheleva, who got injured last season, is one of the top players coming back for another season with the team. Vallefoglia’s main off-season additions include American Olympic champion setter Micha Hancock, Serbian international middle blocker Maja Aleksic and former Italian national team libero Imma Sirressi.
Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano
The defending champions will try to secure their fifth straight and sixth Italian League title overall after topping last year’s regular season standings with 23 wins and just three losses. Conegliano have been a force in the country and beyond, having claimed gold in five Italian Supercups, four Italian Cups and in one edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship and the CEV Champions League since 2015.
There was a lot of movement in the team’s squad following last year’s success, with setter Joanna Wolosz, middle blocker Robin de Kruijf and libero Monica De Gennaro appearing as the top returners. Swedish opposite Isabelle Haak, American Olympic champion outside hitter Kelsey Robinson, Italian national team outside hitter Alessia Gennari and promising Italian middle blockers Marina Lubian and Federica Squarcini are all among the new faces.
Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri
Chieri managed to finish the regular season in sixth place in the last two seasons, securing 13 wins and 13 losses in 2021-2022. In both years, the team, which has been part of the Lega Pallalovo on just three occasions, also took bronze in the Italian Cup.
For 2022-2023, the club were able to keep several key starters, most notably Belgian opposite Kaja Grobelna, French outside hitter Helena Cazaute and Italian middle blocker Alessia Mazzaro, and still added some interesting new faces in Swiss opposite Maja Storck, Polish outside hitter Olivia Rozanski and Italian libero Ilaria Spirito.
Savino Del Bene Scandicci
Despite winning the CEV Challenge Cup last season, Scandicci had to settle for fourth in the Italian League after finishing the regular season in the same spot with 20 wins and six losses. The team has been among the contenders since 2016, with two bronzes in the Italian League, another two in the Italian Cup and one in the Italian Supercup.
Scandicci have made the most impactful signing of the season, bringing Chinese superstar Ting Zhu to Italy for the first time in her career – she was a part of a stellar reinforcement package that also included opposite Camilla Mingardi, outside hitter Yana Shcherban and middle blockers Haleigh Washington and Yvon Belien. Setter Ofelia Malinov, outside hitter Elena Pietrini and Dominican libero Brenda Castillo are among the top returners.
VBC Trasporti Pesanti Casalmaggiore
After finishing 11th last season with seven wins and 19 losses, Casalmaggiore will make another attempt to return to their glorious days – the team won the Italian League in 2014-2015, the CEV Champions League and the Italian Cup the following season and took silver in the Women’s Club World Championship in 2016-2017.
Americans Lauren Carlini (setter) and Alexandra Frantti (outside hitter) were the main additions to the club, which also brought in Bulgarian opposite Emiliya Dimitrova and Dutch middle blocker Juliet Lohuis.
Vero Volley Milano
Milano are coming from their best-ever result in the Lega Pallavolo after challenging Conegliano and finishing second last season – the team ranked third in the regular season with 20 wins and six losses. The club has also secured two continental titles recently, winning the CEV Challenge Cup in 2018-2019 and the CEV Cup in 2020-2021.
Milano signed four impactful players ahead of the 2022-2023 season, luring Myriam Sylla and Raphaela Folie away from Conegliano, incorporating American Olympic champion opposite Jordan Thompson and Serbian world champion middle blocker Jovana Stevanovic. Returning for another season are setter Alessia Orro, outside hitter Magdalena Stysiak, middle blocker Dana Rettke and libero Beatrice Parocchiale.
Volley Bergamo 1991
Bergamo won eight Italian and seven CEV Champions League titles in the past, but have not appeared in the playoffs since 2016-2017. Last season, they finished in 12th place with seven wins and 19 losses, barely avoiding relegation.
The team maintained its core from last season, with American outside hitters Mackenzie May and Khalia Lanier and Croatian middle blocker Bozana Butigan, and have added setter Giulia Gennari, signed from Conegliano, and Brazilian opposite Lorrayna Marys, who was with her country’s national team for this year’s VNL.
Pinerolo are set to make their first appearance in the Italian elite after winning the country’s second division last season. They came close to promotion in 2020-2021, but had to settle for bronze, the same result they got in the Italian Cup A2 on the occasion.
In order to survive the high level of play in the Lega Pallavolo, the team have retained some of their top players, such as setter Vittoria Prandi, opposite Valentina Zago and middle blocker Anna Gray, and signed talent from overseas, most notably Polish national team outside hitter Martyna Grajber-Nowakowska, Romanian international Adelina Budai-Ungureanu and Czech middle blocker Veronika Trnkova.