Just ten days before the two superpowers of the Italian women's volleyball league go head-to-head, Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano and Igor Gorgonzola Novara opened their 2021-22 campaigns with thundering wins as the most powerful domestic competition in the world got underway over the weekend.
Show of power by Conegliano, Novara in anticipation of Italian women's league showdown
Favourites score solid wins, as Busto Arsizio stun Monza on opening weekend of exciting 2021-22 season
Publicado 09:35, 10 out 2021
Conegliano extended their overall winning streak across all competitions and seasons to 66 matches as MVP of the match Hristina Vuchkova powered the defending champions to a 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 27-25) sweep of rookies Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia at the PalaVerde.
The 30-year-old Bulgarian middle blocker, who joined Conegliano this season, had six kills from seven swings for 86% in attack and brought down four blocks. It was the usual suspect, Paola Egonu, though who scored the match high of 23 points, countering the best efforts of Russia's Tatiana Kosheleva to keep Vallefoglia alive in her first appearance for the side.
Earlier in the weekend, 2021 runners-up Novara found less resistance from Il Bisonte of Florence and brought home a 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-19) win with Turkey's Ebrar Karakurt hauling in a match high 19 points and picking up the MVP of the match award.
Conegliano and Novara clash in Round 3 of the league's Regular Season, on 21 October. It will be their second head-to-head this season, after Conegliano prevailed in four sets to open the season last week in the Italian Supercup.
But Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio stunned Vero Volley Monza on the opening weekend, inspired by match MVP Alexa Gray of of Canada and top scorer on 20 points Camilla Mingardi.
Busto Arsizio picked up pace after a slow start, but blew a six-point lead at 17-11 in the fourth, allowing Monza a glimmer of hope for a tie-break at 19-22 and 21-23, before they rallied again for a four-point run to finish the match without any mishaps.
In other matches of the opening weekend, Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri were led by France's Helena Cazaute (with the match high of 24 points) and USA's Alexandra Frantti (20 points) in their 3-1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-19, 25-22) win at home over Bartoccini-Fortinfissi Perugia.
And Acqua & Sapone of Rome brough down Bosca San Bernardo Cuneo 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 26-24) on the road on the back of 13 points by Czech middle blocker Veronika Trnkova who attacked for 67% (10/15) and added three blocks to earn the MVP of the match award. Hanna Klimets of Belarus added another 12 points for the visitors.
VBC Trasporti Pesanti Casalmaggiore moved past Savino Del Bene Scandicci 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 27-25) after surviving one set point of their opponents in the fourth.
Nineteen points by Russia's Yana Shcherban, who contributed solidly in reception were key to Casalmaggiore's win, who also had Brazil's Ellen Braga contribute 17 more points, including three aces.
To complete Round 1 of the Regular Season, Delta Despar Trentino recovered from a slow start to edge Volley Bergamo 1991 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-18) on the road after Vittoria Piani served seven aces and ended with a match high of 17 points.