Lega Volley Femminile A1 2023 - News.

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Milano got a big road win over Novara and knocked their opponents out of the top of the standings (Photo: LVF)

The 2023-2024 Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A has new leaders at the conclusion of the seventh round of matches this weekend, with defending champions Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano taking the top spot in the standings from Igor Gorgonzola Novara.

Imoco, who have six wins in six matches (18 points), benefited from a big road victory by Allianz Vero Volley Milano, which ended Novara’s six-match winning streak in the Italian League, and overtook their rivals, who also have 18 points with six triumphs and one loss.

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Playing on the road, Italian Supercoppa runners-up Milano defeated Novara 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21) on Sunday in the most-anticipated match of the weekend in Italy, handing them their first setback of the season after 12 straight victories.

The team, which ranks fourth in the standings with 14 points (five wins, one loss), benefited from an outstanding performance from Italian star opposite Paola Egonu, who reached the 30-point mark for the second time as a Milano player with 28 kills and two blocks. American middle blocker Dana Rettke also shone in the match with an all-around performance that generated 13 points (five kills, four blocks, four aces).

“I thought we started the match very well,” Milano’s setter Alessia Orro said. “Our opponents came back in the second set, but I thought we were still able to remain focused in the match and maintain our level. We also played very well in the key moments. There’s still a lot for us to improve, especially when it comes to being able to maintain a good rhythm after a strong start, but I feel like we’re getting better every day.”

Novara had 24 points (18 kills, four aces, two blocks) from Russian opposite Vita Akimova while team captain and middle blocker Cristina Chirichella contributed another 11, with eight kills and three blocks.

Imoco sweep Firenze

On the same day, Imoco got the job done against Il Bisonte Firenze to become the only undefeated team in the Italian League and return to the top of the standings, despite having played one match less than Novara. The reigning world champions entirely dominated their opponents in Villorba, securing a 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-17) victory.

Swedish star opposite Isabelle Haak had another successful match with Imoco, leading the team’s offensive efforts with 18 points (16 kills, two aces). American outside hitter Kathryn Plummer was the other Imoco player to score in double digits, adding 13 points (12 kills, one ace) in the team’s victory.

“We played a very good match and that’s a reflection of the great harmony we have as a team,” Haak commented. “Every player that gets on the court can contribute and that’s a big advantage for us. Firenze proved to be a very good team at the start, but we got into a good rhythm with our blocking and defense and the match just came to us.”

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Haak scored 18 points as Imoco topped Firenze (Photo: LVF)

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Playing at home in Firenze, Savino Del Bene Scandicci also had a dominant performance, beating Megabox Ondulati Savio Vallefoglia 3-0 (25-23, 25-14, 25-21) to continue in third place, now with 16 points (five wins, two losses). Italian national team opposite Ekaterina Antropova led the way for Scandicci with 15 points (13 kills, one block, one ace), followed by Brazilian Olympic medalist middle blocker Ana Carolina ‘Carol’ da Silva, who got 13 with six kills and seven blocks.

The two matches held on Saturday went to distance with Itas Trentino downing Honda Olivero S. Bernardo Cuneo 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 28-26, 23-25, 15-13) and Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri going on the road and topping Volley Bergamo 1991 also 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 18-25, 25-15, 15-11).

The remaining two Sunday matches had a 3-1 (25-20, 25-16, 17-25, 26-24) road win of Uyba Volley Busto Arsizio over Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore and a 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-20) home victory of Wash4Green Pinerolo over Roma Volley Club.

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