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Dutch and Italian stars thrill fans ahead of exciting FIVB season

Igor Gorgonzola Novara celebrate winning the Italian Cup (Photo credit: Rubin - LVF)
Lausanne, Switzerland, February 4, 2019 - A galaxy of international stars were in action over the last week with fans getting a chance to enjoy the performance of players who will feature later this year in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League, the Olympic qualifiers and the FIVB Volleyball World Cup.

Dutch and Italian stars thrilled 5,000 fans in Verona as Igor Gorgonzola Novara edged Imoco Volley Conegliano in five sets to claim the title in the women's Italian Cup.

• Italy's Paola Egonu led Novara to the 3-2 triumph over Conegliano scoring 29 points in a star-studded game that included such international stars as the Netherlands' Celeste Plack on the winning side and Robin de Kruijf on the losing side, alongside Italy's Cristina Chirichella (8/13 in attack) and Miriam Sylla (21 points) respectively.
• In addition to the VNL, the Dutch and Italian stars are also going head-to-head in one of the most exciting pools of the Intercontinental Olympic Qualification Tournament for a ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
• Reigning VNL champions USA also had an important presence in the final, with Michelle Bartsch-Hackley for Novara plus Kim Hill and Karsta Lowe for Conegliano. As did reigning world champions Serbia, with Stefana Veljkovic picking up yet another title for her collection.
• And on the other side of the Atlantic Carol Silva stuffed her opponents eight times in Dentil Praia Clube's Brazil Superleague 3-2 win over Brasilia.

Filippo Lanza of Perugia

• In men's mid-week action, Maxim Mikhailov of reigning VNL champions Russia led Zenit Kazan to their fourth win in as many games at the European Champions League, named Best Player in their 3-1 win at home over Belgium's Knack Roeselare.
• And Italy's Filippo Lanza was also named Best Player of his game as he led Perugia to a 3-0 sweep of France's Tours, also remaining unbeaten in the competition.
• Domestically, Serbia's Aleksandar Atanasijevic scored 27 points in just four sets in the Italian Superleague as Perugia beat Azimut Leo Shoes Modena to retain the lead in the standings.

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