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Chirichella feels good rhythm for Novara ahead of Club World Championship

Italy captain and Igor Gorgonzola captain Christina Chirichella
Lausanne, Switzerland, November 11, 2019 – Igor Gorgonzola Novara, like their Italian league rivals Imoco Volley Conegliano, will be making their debut at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship in Shaoxing, China from December 3 to 8.

Volley Novara are headed by their captain Cristina Chirichella and a group of talented players including internationals like Jovana Brakocevic, Megan Courtney, Micha Hancock, Elitsa Vasileva, Stefana Veljkovic and former Italy captain Valentina Arrighetti.

Igor Gorgonzola Novara celebrate in the Italian league

“We can count on several international players, some of them are more experienced and some of them are young but very talented. I think that we are doing very good with block-defence and we also have several attacking options which is good for the team. We also have an amazing team spirit which can make a big difference,” said Chirichella.

“Any player in the team can be a key player, this is our strength. Each player in the team can be crucial for the team’s results and each one will give her best to help the team.”

Last season, Volley Novara won their first-ever CEV Champions League trophy and performed well consistently in their national league.

“The past season has been wonderful for our club because we won our first-ever European Champions League title. We also won the Italian Cup for the third time in four years of being in the Playoff finals,” Chirichella said.

“We are having a very tough schedule so far this season, playing a lot of games, so we are getting already a good rhythm for a competition like the Club World Championship. We had some injuries and this made things harder, but on the other hand this forced us to improve our team spirit and to provide our best to help the team.

“We will focus game by game, as we are doing at the Italian league. We know that we will have to face strong opponents in our pool, but we will do our best to achieve a spot in the semifinals. Winning a World Championship medal would be an amazing result – a gold medal would be the most outstanding.”

Serbian middle blocker Stefana Veljkovic (centre) with Megan Courtney and Cristina Chirichella at the net

Serbia middle blocker Veljkovic is eager to compete and she will bring her World Championship experience when she sets foot in Shaoxing.

“I am ready to fight,” said Veljkovic. “I know we will face the strongest teams in the world, but actually this is normal considering that we will compete for the title of world champion. I will do my best for the team and use my experience and skills in attack, block, serve and also on defence.

“I would like to give my club a new and prestigious trophy. I want to be positive on the court and help my team achieve good results. I have the chance of competing for one main international competition I have never won in my career and I really can’t wait to fight against the best players and teams in the world.”

Veljkovic expects the experience to be valuable for her teammates.

“Competing with the best opponents will be helpful and challenging for us,” Veljkovic explained. “For sure this will give us both enthusiasm and awareness. We can learn a lot and improve our personal and team skills.”

Finally, Veljkovic seeks the support of their fans when they compete in China in December.

“I can’t promise we will win but I can promise we will do everything we can to achieve victory. We will need all your passion and support and I am sure that we will make you proud of us.”


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