Lega Pallavolo Serie A Femminile 2021 - News

Vallefoglia 2003

Vallefoglia players celebrate key victory against Scandicci

Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia earned two important points in their fight against relegation in the Lega Pallavolo vivo Serie A1 Femminile by causing the biggest upset of the 11th round of the second leg of the competition this weekend.

The team went on the road on Sunday and defeated fourth-placed Savino Del Bene Scandicci in five sets (22-25, 25-20, 18-25, 25-18, 17-15) to move away from the bottom of the standings, and climb up to the ninth place with 21 points (seven wins, 16 losses).

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Vallefoglia, who played without their main offensive player, Russian star Tatiana Kosheleva, following an injury last month, relied on a true team effort to upset Scandicci. Thanks to the great ball distribution of setter Virginia Berasi, the team had as many as five players reaching double digits in scoring.

Middle blocker Giulia Mancini was the most productive with 17 points (11 kills, three blocks, three aces), followed by Serbian opposite Ana Bjelica and outside hitters Kenya Carcaces and Sonja Newcombe with 16 each and fellow middle blocker Jack-Kisal Sinead with 14. Team captain Carcaces took home the MVP award.

“We had played really well against Novara last weekend but unfortunately we didn’t get any points,” head coach Fabio Bonafede said at the end of the match. “We did a great job again tonight and luck was on our side this time. To defeat such a strong team on the road speaks a lot about the maturity and awareness of this group. But we can’t lose focus because there’s still a long road ahead of us and we haven’t achieved our goal yet.”

Star opposite Camilla Mingardi prevented fifth-placed Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio from being in the same situation as Scandicci as the 24-year-old produced a match-high 29 points (all in kills) as her team overcame 13th-placed Acqua & Sapone Roma Volley Club 3-2 (25-19, 25-16, 22-25, 24-26, 15-12) away from home.

Mingardi played out of position, lining up as an outside hitter in an attempt from Busto’s coach Marco Musso to help the team cope with the absence of injured setters Jordyn Poulter and Sofia Monza. As it had happened last weekend, veteran outside hitter Lucia Bosetti took on the setting duties for Busto.

“I am very proud of my team,” Mingardi commented. “We are going through a very difficult moment without our two setters and I can’t help but praise Lucia because she’s handled both matches really well. Roma played a very good match when it came to blocking and we had some difficulties in playing with higher sets.”

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Roma also had two players leaving the court with high-scoring performances in German outside hitter and team captain Lena Stigrot, who tallied 26 points (25 kills, one block), and Belarusian opposite Hanna Klimets, who added 24 (22 kills, one block, one ace).

League leaders Igor Gorgonzola Novara started their game trailing their opponents, but came out on top after four sets (23-25, 25-13, 25-22, 25-21) to defeat Delta Despar Trentino and remain at the top of the standings. Turkish opposite Ebrar Karakurt was Novara’s top scorer in the match with 21 points (17 kills, two blocks, two aces) while Trentino’s opposite Vittoria Piani led all scorers with 26 (23 kills, three blocks).

Defending champions Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano were caught off guard by Il Bisonte Firenze in their first set, but regrouped and secured a 3-1 (19-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-16) triumph on the road. American outside hitter Kathryn Plummer was the most productive player on the court with 17 points (13 kills, two blocks, two aces).

Third-placed Vero Volley Monza kept their pace in an even more comfortable fashion as they swept (25-18, 25-17, 25-18) Bartoccini Fortinfissi Perugia. Belgian opposite Lise Van Hecke led Monza’s offence with 18 points (14 kills, three blocks, one ace).

With just two more full rounds and some postponed matches set to be played until the end of the regular season, Novara, with 58 points (20 wins, two losses), Conegliano, with 57 (20 wins, three losses), and Monza, also with 57 (19 wins, six losses), occupy the top three spots in the standings.

At the bottom of the table, Roma, with 17 points (six wins, 17 losses), and Delta Despar Trentino, with 16 (four wins, 20 losses), are the two sides most severely threatened by relegation.

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Three mid-week matches – two on Wednesday and one on Thursday – are set to be played in the Italian League before next weekend’s full set of encounters.