Monza came back to the court after their defeat against Novara to face the regaining champions and leaders Imoco Volley in the 5th round of the Serie A1 2021-2022 season.
After their tie-break defeat last weekend against Novara, Gaspari’s team faced another big challenge this weekend against the big favorites Imoco who had still not lost a set on this before this year’s championship.
In a sold-out Arena di Monza, the team of Daniele Santarelli is almost with its full roster except with the absence of Sarah Fahr (still injured from the European Championship) and after the numerous injuries that have hit her Miriam Sylla is finally back on court and warmed up with her teammates, to later watch the match from the bench, same goes for Moki De Gennaro who’s also out because of injury so Carvello played on her place.
Monza fired up and ready for the challenge with a spectacular team display had a fairytale start, the home team took big advantage of the atmosphere from the stadium and gloriously started with a fantastic 10-5 lead also with a poor reception percentage there was not much that Conegliano could do. Santarelli tried to make some changes to give a twist to the set but Magda Stysiak went to serve and chalked up 4 aces to give her team several set points, the ‘’monzesi’’ then took the first set with a crashing 25-13 score after a service mistake by Robin De Kruifj.
The second set was pretty much tight but American Kathryn Plummer had a great attacking percentage and helped her team gain some confidence, the away team took a 4 point lead to navigate the second set to then win it by 25-20.
Great start from Monza who took the lead after several mistakes from Conegliano they kept it until Santarelli’s team reacted and evened things 14-14. Sonia Candi went to serve scored an ace and then forced it to keep the home advantage. Monza gained a set point with an astonishing point that fired up the stadium, Megan Courtney kept Conegliano hopes alive, but an insane point by Stysiak and then a monster block by her and Anna Danesi gave “the monzesi” the set by 27-25.
Conegliano started the 4th set with a lead but then two attacking mistakes from Egonu evened things, but later several mistakes by Monza gave a 9-6 lead to the away team therefore Gasparini made some changes to the team to try to keep them confident so Davyskiba entered for Lazovic and Van Hecke entered for Stysiak but Monza still struggled to catch up and Conegliano ran away and took the set 25-20.
Tiebreak: Sonia Candi started off great with a good attacking point. Things were tied until Egonu stretched her team lead 3-6 and Gaspari asked for a time out to calm his girls. Crucial Stysiak kept Monza alive and after an invasion from Conegliano and an ace from Candi the score started to heat. Stysiak unleashed: 11-11. Another invasion from Imoco and Monza lead for the first time on the set 12-11. Santarelli forced to called for a time out and stop the game. Game was tied 13-13. Egonu scores a crucial point to give Conegliano a match point. Gaspari calls the last time out to try to calm the palpable tension. But an ace from Egonu shattered Monza’s dreams and gives Imoco the victory by 2-3 to keep their 70 matches unbelievable winning streak.
FULL SQUAD– VERO VOLLEY MONZA
Setters: Alessia Orro (4) , Jennifer Boldini
Middle-Blockers: Anna Danesi (13), Katerina Zakchaiou (5), Sonia Candi (5), Gaia Moretto
Spikers: Katarina Lazovic (6), Magdalena Stysiak (29), Alessia Gennari (8), Lise Van Hecke, Brankica Mihajlovic, Anna Davyskiba (6).
Libero: Beatrice Parrocchiale, Beatrice Negretti
Coach: Marco Gaspari
FULL SQUAD– PROSECCO DOC IMOCO VOLLEY CONEGLIANO
Setters: Joanna Wolosz (2), Giulia Gennari
Middle-Blockers: Robin De Kruijf (9), Raphaela Folie (5), Bozana Butigan, Hristina Vuchkova (1), Sarah Fahr
Spikers: Kathryn Plummer (22), Megan Courtney (18), Oghosasere Loveth Omoruyi, Paola Egonu (17), Giorgia Frosini (3), Myriam Sylla
Libero: Monica De Gennaro, Lara Caravello
Coach: Daniele Santarelli
AUTHOR: Lucia M. Lecouna Sports Data Scout and Journalist A former student of Communication and Media at the IULM University, sports journalist that focuses on Football, Volleyball and Basketball. https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucia-l-914710139 Contact mail: lulile(at)gmail.com