Vero Volley Milan suffers with Rome but goes through thanks to a super Paola Egonu

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Allianz Vero Volleyball Milan-Aeroitalia Smi Rome 3-2 (23-25; 25-19; 18-25; 25-21; 18-16) 

Allianz Vero Volley Milan beats Aeroitalia Smi Roma in the ninth day back of the A1 Tigot&agrave Series championship. A hard-fought match the one played at the Opiquad Arena in Monza in the unusual time of 12:00, to which the public responded with great enthusiasm with more than 3000 spectators, resolved with the 3-2 (23-25; 25-19; 18-25; 25-21; 18-16) victory in favor of the meneghine.

It's the second consecutive tie-break victory in the championship for the Consortium women&#39s first team, after the two points earned in the previous round against Pinerolo. Milan è was forced to chase for the duration of the match, losing the first and third sets, but putting on a show of muscle when needed and bringing home two crucial points from a standings perspective.

Coach Gaspari revolutionized the sextet and opted to rely on Prandi and Egonu as diagonal opposite setter, pair of female setters formed by Cazaute and Bajema, Candi-Rettke as middle hitters and Pusic libero.

Allianz Vero Volleyball Milan entered the match at its best, immediately finding the break (4-1), led by Egonu's two consecutive aces. Prandi è magnificent at the start in putting the central players in rhythm, with Rettke the protagonist of two nice first halves (7-4). Rome gets back in the slipstream, but it’s Cazaute’s lungolinea to drive the opponents back (8-6). The Capitoline girls did not let up, took the stage with Rivero's ace and reached a tie at 10-10. Great balance in the middle phase of the game, with coach Gaspari choosing to call a time-out on 14-15. Rome finds the break (15-17), Milan tries to catch up but falls behind by three lengths (17-20) causing Gaspari to spend the second technical suspension as well. Change in diagonal with the insertion of Orro and Malual, with the two immediately protagonists of an excellent action (20-22) before the time-out called by Roma. Cazaute brings the meneghine even closer with the short ball of -1 (21-22) and Cuccarini calls another time-out very close to the first one. Malual flies over the opponent’s wall and ties it at 22-22. Rome gains set-point (22-24), Malual cancels it but Rivero gives Rome the first partial (23-25).

Balance is the master even at the beginning of the second game, with Milan finding the break on 5-3 thanks to Cazaute's ace. The meneghine stretch to +4 (7-3), Rome shortens but loses lucidity in attack, Milan takes advantage and strikes with Cazaute’s diagonal and Rettke’s subsequent ace (12-8). Aeroitalia, as in the previous set, doesn't allow Milan any breaks, getting back into the game with an ace by the usual Rivero (12-11): time-out for coach Gaspari. The Capitoline girls push hard on serve and take the reins of the match (13-14); Egonu’s tight diagonal, Bajema’s monster block and Cazaute’s ace: Milan break (16-14) and time-out for the visiting team. Vero Volley doesn&#39t stop pushing on serve and with Egonu&#39s ace it goes up +4 (20-16) that channels the set on the right tracks and forces Cuccarini to the second time-out. In the final of the set the absolute protagonist è Malual, very lucid in attack and defense, who brings her teammates one step away from closing the set (24-19), ended with the last decisive point scored by Candi for the 1-1 (25-19).

In the third set è Rome started better, finding the immediate break (3-6); Allianz Vero Volley Milan relied on Cazaute's verve and Candi's central attacks to get back into the game (6-8). The meneghine però are less brilliant than in the previous partial, falling behind by five points (7-12) before the time-out called by Gaspari. On the return, it is immediately Bajema and Egonu who sound the charge, but Roma leaves no room for the Milanese comeback and maintains the five-point gap (14-19). Egonu finds the winning lungolinea, Roma wastes on offense, and Vero Volley reconciles the gap (17-20) before the time-out called by the Roman bench. The Capitoline women regain air with two points in quick succession, before Sylla’s power dunk (18-22). Milan suffers at the wall and Rome also takes home the third set (18-25).

Cazaute opens the fourth set at its best with a splendid ace (1-0). Neither team manages to put its nose ahead, returning each other’s attacks blow by blow. Milan finds the break first (9-7), taking advantage of an attack error by the Romans and with the first half signed by Rettke. Cuccarini calls back to sé her girls, while the match continues to be always on the edge with the score tied again (10-10). Sylla puts all her grit into it and converts the diagonal on Orro’s riser, newcomer Heyrman makes her mark on the wall and è break for Milan (14-12). Roma calls the second time-out, but the hosts control the set's progress well (17-15). The meneghine stretch to +3 (20-17) thanks to Rettke's ace. Milan doesn&#39t hint at lifting its foot off the accelerator, finding Sylla&#39s mani-out and Heyrman&#39s first time serve for set-point (24-20). Rome cancels the first, but surrenders 25-21: it is all decided at the tie-break.

Milan aggressively attacks the fifth set with Sylla&#39s tight diagonal and Cazaute's ace (2-0). Rome immediately equalized and took the lead with Ciarrocchi's ace (2-3). The Capitoline girls reverse and take the break (2-5) led by their opposite number, Bici: time-out Milan. Rettke shakes her teammates with a winning first half (3-6), which serves to wake up Vero Volley from the torpor. Gaspari’s girls attack head-on, unleashing the best of their offensive potential and increasing the solidityà of the wall-defense correlation, going to the court reversal on +1 (8-7) after Cazaute’s wall. Rome, however, wants to go home with the two points and with stubbornness manages to tie first and find the break on 10-12. Egonu puts everything back on track, scoring the pipe and then a beautiful diagonal on Orro’s riser. Cuccarini calls time-out and on her return Bici scores the diagonal, which Egonu answers with the pipe (13-13). Bici finds the winning attack for the first match point, nullified by Rettke’s first half (14-14). Cazaute scores a big ball on 17-16, before Egonu&#39s last point closes the contest on 18-16.

MVP of the match just Paola Egonu author of an important game in attack, with 30 points scored. In double figures also Cazaute with 18 and Rettke with 16 ground balls. Next appointment for Allianz Vero Volley Milano on Wednesday, March 6, at 8:30 p.m. away against Casalmaggiore at Pala Radi in Cremona.

"Today è it was very important the reaction we had especially in the tie-break – emphasized Helena Cazaute to the official channels of the club -. It’ was a very difficult match becauseé Roma pushed so much in attack but we managed to win two important points. Well done us".

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