Volleyball World - News

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Paola Egonu will play in Italy’s Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile again next season. The Generation O star of Italian volleyball has joined the ranks of Vero Volley Milan after spending a season abroad, competing for Türkiye’s VakifBank Istanbul. She is in the company of a number of new additions to the club roster like Brenda Castillo, Adhu Malual, Helena Cazaute, Kara Bajema, Laura Heyrman, Nika Daalderop and Vittoria Prandi.

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After playing for the Italian federation’s Club Italia while growing up, Paola joined Igor Gorgonzola Novara from 2017 to 2019 and Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano from 2019 to 2022, before transferring to VakifBank for a season. In addition to several domestic trophies and medals from Italy and Türkiye, her club career achievements include one gold and two silvers from the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championships (MVP in 2019), and three golds and a silver from the CEV Champions League (MVP in 2019, 2021 and 2023). With the national team, Egonu is a reigning Volleyball Nations League champion from 2022 and a reigning European champion from 2021, with the MVP recognition at both events, as well as a two-time medallist of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships. Having all these achievements in her collection, the 24-year-old opposite is arguably one of the best players in the world.

Two outside hitters, American international Kara Bajema and Dutch international Nika Daalderop, also transferred from VakifBank to Vero Volley alongside Egonu, while Belgian international middle blocker Laura Heyrman came in from VakifBank’s city rivals Eczacibasi Dynavit Istanbul.

The club from Milan, which made it to two domestic finals in Italy this year, for the national championship and for the national cup, also attracted some high-level players coming from other Italian clubs, like Dominican international libero Brenda Castillo from Savino Del Bene Scandicci, French international outside Helena Cazaute from Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri, Italian opposite Adhuoljok Malual from Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore and Italian setter Vittoria Prandi from Wash4Green Pinerolo.

Staying with Vero Volley for the 2023-2024 season are setter Alessia Orro, outside Myriam Sylla, middles Raphaela Folie, Dana Rettke and Sonia Candi, and libero Beatrice Parrocchiale. Among the most notable absences from the announced new roster of head coach Marco Gaspari are Polish opposite Magdalena Stysiak, American opposite Jordan Thompson, American outside Jordan Larson and Serbian middle Jovana Stevanovic.