Paola Egonu and Vero Volley Milan fold Bergamo

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Paola Egonu and Vero Volley Milan fold Bergamo

In front of the usual, big, passionate and very warm audience of the Allianz Cloud, Allianz Vero Volley Milano finds the 17th success of its regular season. The challenge with Volley Bergamo, però è was uncertain for a long time. At least until the hosts did not accelerate decisively in the third and fourth fraction of the match, resolving the dispute in their favor, for a 3-1 final (25-19, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19) that represents a good business card for coach Gaspari’s lineup in view of the next, important commitments against Conegliano, Novara and Scandicci (the latter for the Final Four of the Italian Cup). Before the match Paola Egonu received from the hands of Andrea Cardamone, CEO and general manager of Widiba, the award of the Women’s League of Serie A as MVP of the month of December.

Coach Gaspari starts the challenge with Prandi in diagonal with Egonu herself, Sylla and Cazaute in place 4, Candi and Rettke in the center, Castillo free. On the bench, replacing the captain, Orro, who is absent due to a cold illness, is young Gaia Mancastroppa (class of 2006), the Consortium’s under-18 setter.

After the minute of silence dedicated to Gigi Riva, the match opened with Prandi’s serve. The first point è for Bergamo, answered by Candi for Vero Volley. The lead for the hosts comes on 3-2, which immediately becomes +2 with Rettke (4-2). On 6-8 it’s the guests who try to rip, but the challenge remains in balance until Milan’s new break, which comes at the end of a very long exchange, on 16-14. It’ time-out for Volley Bergamo, which reverses the situation on 17-18, before the suspension also requested by coach Gaspari. At 20, Allianz Vero Volley enters in front (20-19), which immediately extends with Egonu: 21-19. The Bergamo bench stops the game. Two attack errors by the guests and on the scoreboard è 23-19. With Candi’s first tempo comes the first set point: 24-19. It’ Bajema’s wall to put the word “end” on the partial: 25-19, and 1-0.

Melandri from 9 meters opens the second fraction: Bergamo immediately rises to +2 (0-2), before a diagonal by Sylla. But the guests look for the’stretch, and they find it: 1-4. Enter Malual for Egonu, who exits after a bad relapse from an attack. Cazaute signs the 4-6 wall, Milano breaks the game on 4-8, which becomes 4-11, with the hosts struggling to put order in the plot of their game. On 5-13 è -8: Sylla tries to shake things up with a “no-look” in parallel. Egonu, returned, also shortens the distance with an ace and on 10-16 è Bigarelli to call time-out. Vero Volley, però, lacks continuityà in the reaction and at 20 comes first the guest lineup: 14-20. On 17-21 for the Bergamo bench there’è the second time-out. Sylla defends and Egonu counterattacks for 19-22, while Bajema brings the locals to 20 (-23). With Rettke comes -1 (22-23), but on 22-24 there’è;s set point for Bergamo. Rettke-Bajema’s "monster block" cancels it: 23-24. A touch of the high hands at the wall by the’Allianz Vero Volley, for’è closes the set: è 23-25.

The third fraction also opened with a lead for Bergamo (0-1), which was answered by Sylla and Bajema between attack and wall. The guests set up a break at 2-4, to which the locals retaliated by regaining the lead (5-4) and, then, stretching: 8-5 (and time out for the guests). Castillo è mastered the second line of Milan, which went to +6 (13-7), before the suspension of the game requested by the guest bench. 16-9 records the new maximum lead, but è on 19-15 that coach Gaspari stops the challenge for thirty seconds, followed by Sylla's attack for 20-15. Candi in first half, Sylla again and è 22-16. Egonu’s wall leads 24-18, but è on the third set point, with Bajema from set 4, that Milan closes the file: the scoreboard reads 25-20 and 2-1 in the set count. Sylla’s personal points were 7 in the partial, enhanced by a team reception that recorded 79% positive ball, with 58% perfect, combined with 7 point walls for Milan.

Three "monster blocks" consecutive by Milan (two for Candi, one for Sylla) open the fourth fraction: è 3-0 and time-out, immediately, for Bergamo. The +3 is maintained until 5-2, then, è 5-4. A new parity è arrives at 9, when è Sylla on a wall to break the balance: 11-9, which becomes 14-10 with Candi’s fifth personal wall (a time-out for coach Bigarelli arrives). On 17-12 è +5 for Allianz Vero Volley, which continues to rage from the center with Rettke and Candi. Bergamo can no longer find the rhythm of the match, and è 22-14, again with the wall, this time on Davyskiba, then, 23-15. The match point series opens on 24-18, after an imperious wall by Egonu, and closes on 25-19 with Candi, on her 20th point (14 attacks and 6 walls, for her), well-deserved MVP of a match in which also Egonu (20), Sylla (14), Rettke (13) and Bajema (11) go in double figures, with the "icing" of 23 total team walls for Allianz Vero Volley Milano.

The next appointments for Allianz Vero Volleyball will be with the “big-match” scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 4, away at Conegliano and Saturday, Feb. 10, at 9 p.m., at Allianz Cloud in Milan against Novara. Two challenges that will precede the Italian Cup Final Four scheduled in Trieste on Feb. 17 and 18.

Vittoria Prandi (Allianz Vero Volley Milano): "I am very happy with this result: in the moments of difficulty; we were united as a team and with a lot of grit we managed to get the victory. We came from a challenging week but also a very positive one, with the success in the Italian Cup. Now we need again the maximum concentration because next Sunday on the other side of the net we expect Conegliano; we look forward to take the court against them and we will give as always 100%".

Allianz Vero Volley Milan – Volley Bergamo 1991 3-1 (25-19, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19)

Allianz Vero Volley Milan: Cazaute 2, Malual 1, Heyrman, Prandi, Rettke 13, Bajema 11, Sylla 14, Egonu 20, Candi 20, Castillo (L). Not entered: Mancastroppa, Folie, Pusic (L), Daalderop. All. Gaspari

Volley Bergamo 1991: Fitzmorris, Rozanski 15, Butigan 7, Cecchetto (L), Da Silva 19, Nervini, Pistolesi, Davyskiba 14, Melandri 4, Gennari 3. Not entered: Bovo, Pasquino, Cicola (L), All. Bigarelli


Arbitrators: Luca Grassia, Roberto Boris

Spectators: 3801

Set Duration: 25′, 32′, 28′, 27′ Tot: 2h04′

Allianz Vero Volley Milan: winning serves 4, wrong serves 11, walls 23, errors 21, attack 43%

Volley Bergamo 1991: winning strokes 3, wrong strokes 10, walls 9, errors 17, attack 35%

MVP: Sonia Candi (Allianz Vero Volley Milano)

Emplantation: Allianz Cloud of Milan

Press Office – Consorzio Vero Volleyball

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