Lega Volley Femminile A1 2023 - News.

Egonu 0311

Facing her former team, Paola Egonu will be one of the stars on the court on Sunday (Photo: LVF)

Allianz Vero Volley Milano and Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano are set to meet just eight days after their duel in the Italian Supercoppa and their encounter could, again, make history in Italian volleyball.

Set to start at 16:00 local time (15:00 GMT) on Sunday, their duel in the sixth round of the Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A is expected to set a new attendance record in the country.

  • Watch Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A1 matches live on VBTV.

Milano will host the match against their rivals at the Mediolanum Forum, located in Assago, just outside Milan. Built in 1990, the venue can welcome 12,700 people and, with 10,000 tickets already sold, the expectation is of a sellout crowd for the encounter between two of the three undefeated teams in the Italian League.

The encounter is already in a position to set a new attendance record for regular season matches in the Italian League, easily overcoming a match between Novara and Bergamo, in 2001, which drew 6,650 fans. If the full capacity is reached, then a new attendance record would be set, besting the 11,550 crowd that watched Reggio Calabria and Modena in the final of the 1998-1999 season.

The upset to Imoco in the Supercoppa was the only defeat of Milano so far in the season. The team from Northern Italy has won its four Lega Femminile matches so far, against Uyba Volley Busto Arsizio, Itas Trentino, Savino Del Bene Scandicci and Volley Bergamo 1991, and ranks third in the standings with 11 points.

“It’s going to be an honor to play in such a big stadium in front of such a massive crowd,” Milano’s head coach Marco Gaspari said. “It means that our fans believe in us and we need to take it as motivation. We must repay their trust by playing with our hearts. We’ve been preparing for this match with a desire for revenge, but the most important thing over the last few days was to fix the issues we displayed and the last two matches were very important in terms of helping us identify them. Against Imoco, we need to be very good with blocking-defense because they can punish us with their offense.”

Libero Brenda Castillo is back with the team after helping the Dominican national team take gold at the Pan-American Games and joined the many international stars of Milano’s roster, such as Italian opposite Paola Egonu, Italian setter Alessia Orro and American middle blocker Dana Rettke.

Defending champions Imoco have also won their four Lega Femminile matches, against Trentino, Honda Olivero S. Bernardo Cuneo, Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri and Scandicci, but have one point more than Milano, ranking second with 12.

“It’s not going to be a final this time, but there will be three important points in play,” Imoco’s head coach Daniele Santarelli said. “It will be a different experience to play in such a big stadium and I’m sure everyone there will enjoy what should be a great match between two of the top teams in the country. I’m sure Milano will be looking for revenge after our victory in the Supercoppa, so we’ll need to be ready to face an even more determined team.”

The Panthers are coming from a big midweek road win over Scandicci in which Swedish star opposite Isabelle Haak scored 32 points and American Olympic champion outside hitter Kelsey Cook added 15.

Imoco have been historically dominant against Milano, having won 26 of the 31 encounters between the teams, including three of the last five, in last year’s Lega Femminile’s final series.

First matches on Saturday

Besides the duel between Milano and Imoco, six other matches will be held over the weekend in Italy. Three of them will take place on Saturday, with Trentino and Scandicci battling at 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT) and Chieri vs. Wash4Green Pinerolo and Roma Volley Club vs. Bergamo starting at 20:30 local time (19:30 GMT).

Lega Femminile - Match Schedule and Results

On Sunday, Busto vs. Megabox Ondulati Savio Vallefoglia and Il Bisonte Firenze vs. Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore are scheduled for 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT) while Cuneo and Igor Gorgonzola Novara complete the calendar at 20:00 local time (19:00 GMT).

Quick links:
Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A1
Subscribe to Volleyball World's Newsletter