Imoco’s Polish setter Joanna Wolosz on the block against Vero Volley (source:

Imoco’s Polish setter Joanna Wolosz on the block against Vero Volley

The 21st leg of the Italian Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile regular season offers some interesting encounters, highlighted by the top four teams in the current standings playing one another on Sunday, when leaders Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano visit third-placed Vero Volley Milan and second-placed Savino Del Bene Scandicci entertain fourth-placed Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri.

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This weekend’s leg will open with four games starting at 17:00 local time (16:00 UTC) on Sunday, in one of which Savino Del Bene will try to extend their winning streak to five consecutive league matches and put a stop to Reale Mutua Fenera’s rise after two victories in a row.

After conquering an important five-set victory at Vero Volley last weekend and qualifying for the semifinals of the CEV Cup continental tournament on Wednesday, the team from Scandicci are riding the wave of an eight-game winning run across the two competitions. With 50 points and a 16-4 win-loss record, they have already secured a spot in the Italian playoffs, and will now continue the race for the best possible starting position. So will the squad from Chieri, who are not yet qualified mathematically, but currently on 42 and 14-6, quite likely to be among the eighthfinalists. They also had a successful week in continental competition, booking a spot in the Challenge Cup final and extending their victory streak to four games across the two competitions.

In November, Savino Del Bene won the away match at Reale Mutua Fenera in four sets, widening their lead in the overall head-to-head record to 7-2. Chieri’s only success in the series came in the two matches they played back in January 2021.

Sunday’s programme will finish later in the evening, when Vero Volley and Imoco meet in front of sold-out stands at the Allianz Cloud in Milan at 20:30 (19:30 UTC).

Talk about a winning streak when it comes to Imoco. Between the FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship, which they won in December, the CEV Champions League, in which they are already qualified for the quarterfinals, Coppa Italia, which they won in January, and the Italian league, in which they are the defending champions, the team from Conegliano have piled up a series of 21 consecutive wins since they last lost a match in early December. In the role of heavy favourites to win the title again, Imoco lead the league standings on 54 and 19-1. By losing to Savino Del Bene last week, Vero Volley ended a winning streak of their own, which lasted five games in a row and also pushed the team to the Champions League quarterfinals. In Lega Pallavolo, the Milan squad are in third place on 46 and 15-5.

Within the 26 encounters between Imoco and Vero Volley since 2016, the team from Conegliano won 23 times, most recently in the national cup final on January 29, when their Swedish Generation O star Isabelle Haak produced the match high of 23 points.

“If you don't play 100% in all the fundamentals against teams like that, it becomes difficult. The opponents don't give you anything. Against Conegliano we have to hit well and receive well. Otherwise it's difficult to compete. We have to give something more because this is not enough against any team.” Alessia Orro, setter of Vero Volley Milan

The 21st leg will finish on Monday, with fifth-placed Igor Gorgonzola Novara travelling to meet ninth-placed Il Bisonte Florence, who suffered a surprising loss to Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia at home last week to end an inspiring five-game winning streak.

In the remaining games scheduled on Sunday: Wash4Green Pinerolo will continue the fight to avoid relegation as they host e-work Busto Arsizio, placed eighth, just above the cut-off for the playoffs; Bartoccini-Fortinfissi Perugia will try to stay above the red line for relegation as they welcome Cuneo Granda S.Bernardo; CBF Balducci HR Macerata will aim to save some hope of pushing up from the bottom as they entertain Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore, also near the edge of the playoff zone; and Megabox will try to follow up on their win in Florence last week with another one over Volley Bergamo 1991 at home.

Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile’s 21st leg schedule:

Mar 5, 17:00 local (16:00 UTC): Wash4Green Pinerolo v e-work Busto Arsizio

Mar 5, 17:00 local (16:00 UTC): Savino Del Bene Scandicci v Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri

Mar 5, 17:00 local (16:00 UTC): Bartoccini-Fortinfissi Perugia v Cuneo Granda S.Bernardo

Mar 5, 17:00 local (16:00 UTC): CBF Balducci HR Macerata v Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore

Mar 5, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia v Volley Bergamo 1991

Mar 5, 20:30 local (19:30 UTC): Vero Volley Milan v Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano

Mar 6, 18:30 local (17:30 UTC): Il Bisonte Florence v Igor Gorgonzola Novara