Lega Volley Femminile A1 2023 - News.

Milano Imoco 0202

The top scorer of the Italian League, Milano's Paola Egonu will try to take her former team down (Photo: LVF)

The top two teams of the 2023-2024 Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A Tigotà, Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano and Allianz Vero Volley Milano are set to clash for the second time in the season this weekend, in the sixth leg of the second round of the regular season.

Defending champions and league leaders Imoco will be at home, hosting their second-placed opponents in a sold-out Palaverde, in Villorba, on Sunday, at 17:30 local time (16:30 GMT). Six other duels will be held over the weekend in the Italian League.

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The only undefeated team in the Lega Femminile, Imoco enter Sunday’s duel in a 29-match winning streak, that has been on since May 2023, when Milano defeated them in the final series of last season’s Italian League.

With 17 wins and 51 points in the standings in 2023-2024, the Panthers are not at risk of dropping to second place this weekend, as although Milano (48 points, 17 wins) can tie their points total with a 3-0 or 3-1 victory, they’d still have the edge in the set ratio.

Coming from a massive home win against fourth-placed Savino Del Bene Scandicci last weekend, they want to keep the strong rhythm and build a six-point gap to Milano, which would help them navigate the final stretch of the regular season under less pressure.

“Playing in a sold-out arena again will be really exciting,” said Imoco’s star libero Monica De Gennaro. “We know Milano very well and deeply respect them. It’s going to be a big challenge, but we prepared well to face a really strong opponent. We played a very good match against Scandicci last weekend and are ready to perform at a very high level again. We’re looking forward to getting another positive result in front of our fans.”

Imoco have been vastly superior in the history of the duels between the teams, having topped Milano 27 times in 32 encounters. The Panthers won four of the last five matches, including the one in the first round of the regular season, held in November, when they triumphed 3-1 on the road – a few weeks before, the teams battled in the Italian Supercoppa final, with Imoco winning in four sets as well.

That was Milano’s last defeat in the season as the team from Northern Italy has triumphed in the 13 matches following that one and enter the court determined to take their opponents down and open the race for the top spot in the standings ahead of the playoffs.

A triumph would also give them a confidence boost ahead of the most critical period of the season.

“This is a very important match for a number of reasons,” Milano’s head coach Marco Gaspari reflected. “Imoco have shown an impressive ability to continue winning matches, but we want to compete with the best and a victory would bring them closer in the standings. We know they’re even more difficult to beat in their arena, but we’ll try our best. This is also the first of a series of critical matches we’re doing to have, which includes the Coppa Italia Final Four and the Champions League quarterfinals.”

Sunday’s duel in Villorba will also reunite two of the three top scorers of the Italian League this season – Milano’s star opposite Paola Egonu tops the charts with 379 points (311 kills, 41 blocks, 27 aces), while Swedish Isabelle Haak, who was signed two seasons ago to replace her at Imoco, is third, with 331 (285 kills, 24 blocks, 22 aces).

Two matches on Saturday

The weekend action in the Italian League will begin on Saturday, with Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore hosting Il Bisonte Firenze at 20:00 local time (19:00 GMT) and Megabox Ondulati Savio Vallefoglia playing at home against Uyba Volley Busto Arsizio 30 minutes later.

Lega Femminile - Match Schedule and Results

Four encounters will be held on Sunday, before the match between Imoco and Milano. The first match of the day, scheduled for 16:00 local time (15:00 GMT), will have Volley Bergamo 1991 battling Roma Volley Club.

Later, at 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT), Wash4Green Pinerolo will meet Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri, Igor Gorgonzola Novara will face Honda Olivero S. Bernardo Cuneo and Scandicci will play Itas Trentino.

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Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A1 Tigotà
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