Women’s volleyball: Aeroitalia Smi Roma bids farewell to the playoffs with an unbeatable Conegliano

The Palatiziano greets and celebrates the Giallorossi of Roma Volley, who say goodbye to the playoffs after a sensational season for a newly promoted team in the top flight. On Sunday in the stadium, Cuccarini’s team was unable to do anything against Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano in a match that ended with a defeat by 3 sets to 0. This marks the end of an important season for the Wolves who are ready to say goodbye to important members of the team like Beatriz Correa who will return to Brazil, as captain Marta Bechis expected in Atlanta and to Sofia Valloppi who will return to A2. The team will therefore need to redesign itself while waiting for next season.

The match

Aeroitalia SMI Roma bid farewell to the championship playoffs, losing to a pounding Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliato at the end of a match dominated for 2 sets by the panthers (0-3 17-25; 13-25; 21-25). In front of a packed Sports Hall with 3200 spectators who responded to the call of Serie A volleyball, coach Santarelli’s Panthers confirmed the prediction by fielding a quality of play that was difficult to counter. After the guests dominated in the first two halves, Bechis and her teammates tried in the third set to keep up with the offensive intensity of the Venetians, only to then loosen their grip and leave the last set to the Italian champions too. At a distance, the greater strength of Captain Wolosz and the rest of the sextet emerged, without however taking anything away from the vehemence of a group like the Capitoline one which perfectly crowned a growing journey. Conegliano thus secures the pass for the championship semi-finals and all that remains for Aeroitalia SMI Roma is the pride of having managed, as newly promoted players, to experience the magic of the playoffs for the first time in its history at the end of an extraordinary season.

1st SET Lubian’s turn of service, including 2 aces, is worth a positive break for the Panthers who demonstrate that they want to escape immediately (1-4). Roma keeps in line with Rivero’s one-man block which marks the first draw (8-8). At that point Captain Wolosz accelerates from the control room creating some problems in the Capitoline counterattack: first from the center then in fast Lubian is still the thorn in Roma’s side which from 13-20, although some resistance from the lateral departments of the Roman team led by a Rivero on the shields, he drags his team to the final points 17-25.

2nd SET The Wolves immediately find the key in Melli’s two consecutive hands-outs to immediately take a decent lead, also thanks to the blocking quality of the American Igiede (4-2). The response from Conegliano was not long in coming as they closed the gap and overtook the Haak-Fahr and then Robinson-Cook-Lubian pairs (6-8) with the heights. A few too many service errors in both halves made the game flow slowly, but it immediately picked up intensity with the defensive acceleration of De Gennaro and the attacking power of Haak, who made the break to 9-13. Faced with the sidereal heights of the Panthers, Roma resisted intelligently with Bici and Melli without however managing to overturn the inertia of the set. Coach Cuccarini changes the main diagonal, without achieving the desired result. The Venetians are still the ones to sign the fraction well in advance (13-25).

3rd SET Melli on one side, Robinson-Cook on the other, the two teams compete for leadership of the third quarter, starting a heated head-to-head (9-9). Igiede raises his voice from the center, Bici follows her from nine meters, extending until he signs the +3. Conegliano, blow after blow, without skidding, gets back on track with Haak’s ace who first hangs up and then puts the arrow (16-17). Robinson-Cook increases the situation first from place four and then from nine meters (2 aces), overturning the hierarchies (17-21). Bici tries to mend the game forcefully, but without succeeding in the attempt to materialize the comeback: the extension in the final phase of the set was in fact led once again by the Venetian battleship with Plummer’s diagonal at 21-25, valid for the conquest of the third set and the match closed for three sets to zero.
Roma comes out to the applause of the audience in one standing ovation full of gratitude for this wonderful season.

“Let’s end the season with a smile and not with tears. It was a beautiful year, unexpected for most, we achieved goals that no one believed in. I leave my heart here in Rome. It was a beautiful project, with a wonderful team. We have grown a lot in two years and the work has brought us to this result. For me it was great to be part of this project. The team feeling helped a lot. The amalgam found led us to something great. Last championship we ended with many records and this year the same. A wonderful feeling was created, especially when an element of the team who was important to us left. We looked them in the eyes and became more cynical and combative” says captain Bechis at the end of the match.

“We have shown that we know how to grow, the path is moving forward. We will be able to work even better next year. In big cities you can do volleyball, Rome and Milan are dispelling this fairy tale that it is difficult to work in places like this. Saying that big cities are not suitable for volleyball is an alibi, because by working in a certain way the public arrives and with it everything else” states Roberto Mignemi, General Director of Aeroitalia SMI Rome who adds “if you don’t have an audience you don’t have sense to play. Now we will work to do even better, we will try to qualify for the Challenge Cup. We want to bring Europe to Rome. In the meantime, we are very happy with Cuccarini’s confirmation, it is very important. We are building a path and we will have more fun.”

The scoreboard

AEROITALIA SMI ROME: Bici 14, Madan, Bechis, Rivero 6, Ciarrocchi 3, Ferrara (L) ne, Rucli ne, Valoppi (L), Igiede 7, Melli 6, Schwan 1, Muzi. All. Cuccarini

PROSECCO DOC IMOCO CONEGLIANO: Wolosz, Haak 22, Fahr, Lanier ne, Robinson Cook 10, Lubian 11, Plummer 10, De Kruijf ne, De Gennaro (L), Gennari, Squarcini ne, Bardaro ne, Piani ne, Bugg ne. All. Santarelli

Referees: Papadopol Veronica Mioara, Vagni Ilaria
Set duration: 23′, 23′, 27′. All: 1h20
Spectators: 3200
MVP: Marina Lubian
Venue: Rome Sports Hall

By Editor

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