Igor Gorgonzola Novara battled their way back from a set down twice in the last match on the 21st leg programme in Italy’s Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile to celebrate victory over hosts Il Bisonte Florence on Monday, as the race for better starting positions in the playoffs and CEV Champions League tickets heats up.
Igor regain ground with hard-fought win in Florence
A recap of Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile’s 21st leg
Published 08:04, 07 Mar 2023
With opposite Ebrar Karakurt leading Igor’s scorers, the team from Novara emerged with a 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 15-12) win at the Palazzo Wanny to regain their fourth position in the current standings on 42 points and a 16-5 win-loss record, pushing Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri back down to fifth. The Turkish Generation O star dominated in attack with 22 successful spikes. She added three kill blocks and an ace towards a match tally of 26 points. 37-year-old Cuban outside hitter Kenia Carcaces added another 22 points, including one ace, and earned the Most Valuable Player nomination. Italian international middle blocker Anna Danesi impressed with five stuffs towards a total of 13 points. Il Bisonte’s opposite Sylvia Nwakalor produced the match high of 32 points, including three blocks, while her teammate, Belgian outside Britt Herbots, scored 22 times in the game. The team from Florence are now three points below the playoff zone, in ninth place on 28 and 9-12.
“It wasn't an easy game. Congratulations to Florence for how they fought for every ball, but also to my team, who knew how to respond and win a victory, which was still very important although not a three-pointer,” MVP Carcaces said. “We need to keep working, I am confident that by working hard in the gym we will reach our maximum level.”
Table leaders Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano and Savino Del Bene Scandicci consolidated their positions in the standings after mastering three-point victories over Vero Volley Milan and Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri, respectively, on Sunday.
After a convincing 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-23) away win over third-placed Vero Volley (46, 15-6), reigning club world champions Imoco improved to 57 and 20-1, maintaining a four-point gap from second-placed Savino Del Bene, who produced a 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-20) home victory over the team from Chieri to raise their record to 53 and 17-4 and push Reale Mutua Fenera down to fifth place on 42 and 14-7.
American outside Kathryn Plummer delivered a match-high 15 points towards Imoco’s success in Milan. Swedish Generation O star Isabelle Haak added another 14, while Polish playmaker and team captain Joanna Wolosz claimed the MVP award. Her compatriot, Vero Volley’s Generation O striker Magdalena Stysiak, came in as a sub, but ended up as her team’s only player to reach the double digits with 10 points.
Chinese star outside Zhu Ting led Savino Del Bene to victory with 21 points against Reale Mutua Fenera. Experienced Italian opposite Indre Sorokaite spiked at a 65% success rate, aced twice and stuff-blocked once to collect 14 points and earn the MVP award. Also with 14 points to her name, Belgian opposite and captain Kaja Grobelna was the best scorer for the opponents from Chieri.
“Behind this victory there is a lot of work we do in the gym, work that the girls do and that they do well. We never played with more starting players than we do this season. We are doing really well and I am very happy,” commented Savino Del Bene’s head coach Massimo Barbolini. “It was an important match, because in view of qualifying for the Champions League, we earned precious points. The match gave great confidence to these girls, who have shown that they know how to play against a strong team like Chieri.”
Near the edge of the playoff zone, Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore and e-work Busto Arsizio scored important victories to overtake Volley Bergamo 1991, who suffered a loss to drop to eighth place.
With a match-high 18 points, all in offence, Bulgarian opposite and captain Emiliya Dimitrova powered Trasportipesanti to a 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-10, 25-17) away victory at bottom-of-the-table CBF Balducci HR Macerata and claimed the MVP award. The squad from Casalmaggiore rose to sixth place on 32 and 10-11, a point above seventh-placed e-work Busto Arsizio, who also managed a four-set away win, 3-1 (16-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-22) over next-to-last Wash4green Pinerolo, on an 18-point match high (including three blocks and an ace) from outside Alice Degradi.
“I am very happy, because in the last few games we played well, but the victory eluded us in the last minute,” Emiliya Dimitrova pointed out. “Now we found some rhythm, some confidence in our game and we brought the three points home.”
With four kill blocks and two successful spikes to her name, American setter Micha Hancock steered Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia to an important 3-1 (25-22, 25-11, 17-25, 25-12) home win over Bergamo, which kept the team well within reach of the playoff spots. The playmaker was honoured as the match MVP, while her compatriot Andrea Drews topped the scorers’ chart with 21 points. Megabox improved to 25 and 9-12 in 10th place, while Bergamo dropped to eighth on 31 and 10-11.
A five-set battle unfolded in the game between 12th-placed Bartoccini-Fortinfissi Perugia and 11th-placed Cuneo Granda S.Bernardo. The visitors from Cuneo came back from two sets down to celebrate a 3-2 (22-25, 24-26, 25-17, 25-23, 15-10) victory and up their record to 23 and 8-13, ten points clear of the team from Perugia. French opposite Lucille Gicquel contributed the match high of 27 points towards her team’s success, but the MVP award went to American outside Danielle Drews, who came in as a substitution and helped Cuneo master a comeback with great reception and 17 points, including three aces.
The 22nd leg will take place from Wednesday through Sunday of this week.
Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile’s 22nd leg schedule:
Mar 8, 19:00 local (18:00 UTC): e-work Busto Arsizio v Savino Del Bene Scandicci
Mar 11, 19:45 local (18:45 UTC): Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri v Vero Volley Milan
Mar 11, 20:30 local (19:30 UTC): Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano v Igor Gorgonzola Novara
Mar 11, 20:30 local (19:30 UTC): Bartoccini-Fortinfissi Perugia v Il Bisonte Florence
Mar 12, 17:00 local (16:00 UTC): Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore v Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia
Mar 12, 17:00 local (16:00 UTC): Cuneo Granda S.Bernardo v Wash4Green Pinerolo
Mar 12, 17:00 local (16:00 UTC): Volley Bergamo 1991 v CBF Balducci HR Macerata