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De Gennaro focused on always improving

Monica De Gennaro at the centre of Italy's defence
Lausanne, Switzerland, February 6, 2019 – Last year's FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship Best Libero Monica De Gennaro of Italy talked to about the Italian team, life at her club Imoco Volley Conegliano and the secret to being a good libero.

De Gennaro was a commanding presence in defence as Italy marched to a silver medal finish at the World Championship in Japan and is likely to play a key role in her country's campaigns on the international stage in 2019 including the FIVB Volleyball Nations League and an Olympic qualifier.

What is the job of a libero?
Monica De Gennaro: The libero is responsible for carrying out the defensive strategy of the coach on the court. It is important to follow the coach’s instructions and to always keep your utmost concentration on the game.

The most important thing in this position is to focus on every ball and every play and apply maximum care. I think defence in volleyball gauges the team’s ability to fight and its intensity to play.

What makes a good libero?
Monica De Gennaro: A lot of training and sacrifice and the desire to always improve. The libero must pay attention even to the smallest details.

Some players, including Milena Rasic, chose you to be part of their Dream Team. What would you say about this?
Monica De Gennaro: These compliments are always a pleasure and a great reward for my sacrifices. Thank you very much, my colleagues!

How’s your club season going so far?
Monica De Gennaro: The season is going well. We are among the first in the standings but as always the playoffs will be decisive.

How would you describe your experience playing for Imoco Volley?
Monica De Gennaro: It’s my sixth season in this club and I’m happy to be here. The organisation has ambitious goals and it’s an honour to wear the name on the shirt. We are a good group. We always work each day with a smile and we have good chemistry both and off the court.

On days off, I make my life as normal as possible. I go shopping, read a book on the sofa, go to the cinema or take a walk – all the normal things!

If you were to create your own Dream Team, who are the six players - past or present - you would like to play with?
Monica De Gennaro: My Dream Team would be composed of the following players:

Outside Spikers (2): Antonella Del Core and Zhu Ting

Setter (1): Joanna Wolosz

Opposite (1): Paola Egonu

Middle Blockers (2): Robin De Kruijf and Milena Rasic

What are your expectations for the next edition of the Volleyball Nations League?
Monica De Gennaro: I hope to join the national team late because that would mean that Imoco Volley will be playing in the finals of the Italian League.

The VNL will be important for Italy because it will give us a chance to prove that the silver medal at the World Championship was not just a coincidence and that we are a very competitive team. So we want to confirm also in the summer of 2019 that we are among the top teams in the world even though we know that our opponents are very strong.

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