Lega Pallavolo Serie A Femminile 2022 - News

Jordan Thompson in attack (source: legavolleyfemminile.it)

Jordan Thompson in attack

Vero Volley Milan hammered out a straight-set victory and a major upset of defending champions Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano in game two of the final playoff in Italy’s Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile to level the best-of-five championship series at one win each.

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Entertaining the club world champions in Monza on Tuesday evening, Vero Volley produced a 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-18) sweep putting an end to Imoco’s seven-match winning streak in the head-to-head series. It was also only the second defeat of the Serie A1 season (after losing to Savino Del Bene Scandicci in December) and the third across all competitions (after also losing to Türkiye’s Fenerbahce Opet Istanbul in a CEV Champions League quarterfinal in March) for the club from Conegliano.

As expected, there was another fiery scoring race between the opposites of the two teams, but contrary to what happened in the first game in Villorba, this time Imoco’s Swedish star Isabelle Haak beat Vero Volley’s Jordan Thompson at it, but the American striker celebrated the team victory. Haak produced the match high of 21 points, all in attack at a 50% success rate, while Thompson’s tally of 19 points included two aces. The only other player to reach the double digits in this match was Vero Volley’s outside hitter Myriam Sylla, who delivered 12 points, including an ace and a kill block. Combining that with her key role in the team’s reception, she earned the Most Valuable Player award.

“First of all, the crowd was sensational, creating incredible emotions,” exclaimed Sylla after the match. “The attitude we put in from the start was beautiful. We started the game with determination. We wanted to play it with a knife between our teeth. It was good, it's still good, but we didn't finish anything. We have to be ready for the third challenge. These are the championship playoffs and we like them as they are.”

“We were good at attacking to win the match and equalize the series,” Vero Volley’s middle blocker Sonia Candi added. Even when we had some drops in performance, we came back and this was fundamental. I'm happy to have given my contribution again today when I entered. We are a cohesive group, aware that every ball counts at this stage of the season. Now game three awaits us and the awareness that we will be back here for game four. We must continue like this…”

“A 3-0 against Conegliano? It's enough for me,” said Vero Volley’s head coach Marco Gaspari, laughing. “It was a beautiful match, in front of an exceptional, fair and colourful crowd! We were good and I can only say ‘thanks’ to the team, but we shouldn't celebrate now. It's a long one and we have to win two more... There's not even time to enjoy it because tomorrow we start again. Both teams are tired, but now there's no time to think about anything else.”

“It can happen that you lose like this - it's the championship finals, there's tension, there's nervousness... We played a very bad match, we struggled enormously in attack,” commented Imoco’s head coach Daniele Santarelli. “Everyone takes it for granted that Imoco must always win. It's not like that. Milan are a team with many champions, people who have played and won Olympics, World Championships, national leagues…, with an endless bench. We performed insufficiently, but we will play different volleyball in game three.”

The third game of the series will be played at Imoco’s Palaverde in Villorba on Thursday, May 11, starting at 20:45 local time (18:45 UTC).

Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile’s Final Leg 3 schedule:
May 11, 20:45 local (18:45 UTC): Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano v Vero Volley Milan

Lega Pallavolo Serie A2 Femminile’s Promotion Final Leg 2 schedule:
May 10, 19:30 local (17:30 UTC): Valsabbina Millenium Brescia v Itas Trentino Trento