Mazzanti names Italy training squad for VNL

Italy women’s coach Davide Mazzanti has named an initial squad of 30 for what he calls “a very busy summer” – starting with the Volleyball Nations League in May.

Paola Egonu and Miriam Sylla are among the prominent names on the roster, which will be reduced to 25 on May 11.

Italy, who were runners-up in last year’s FIVB Women’s World Championship, begin their VNL campaign in Opole, Poland on May 28 with pool matches against the Netherlands, China and Turkey.

In addition, Italy host two pools of the Preliminary Round, in Conegliano Veneto in week two (with USA, the Dominican Republic and Serbia) and in Perugia in week four (with Korea, Bulgaria and Russia).

The FIVB Volleyball Nations League is part of a huge summer which includes the qualifying tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. In Group F, which will be staged in Catania between 2-4 August, Italy will face the Netherlands, Belgium and Kenya. Thereafter, there’s the European Championships in August and the World Cup in September.

Italian rotation likely

With two Italian teams playing in the CEV European Champions League Finals the domestic season is stretching into the summer and Mazzanti is likely to rotate his roster to give some of his players much needed rest. The squad will be split into two groups of 14, with an A and a B group.

“The Nations League will serve to prepare us for the Olympic qualifiers and then to prepare for the European Championship,” said Mazzanti.

“We chose to participate from the second stage with the whole core that made the World Cup, trying to prepare ourselves by playing as much as possible. Thanks to the [Italian] Federation for giving me the opportunity to have created a second senior group that Marco Paglialunga will lead from the Universiade.

“It will be a very intense summer with a bit of a bittersweet taste. We want to start this season in the best possible way.”

Italy women’s volleyball squad of 30

Setters: Carlotta Cambi, Alessia Orro, Ofelia Malinov, Francesca Bosio, Rachele Morello.

Middle blockers: Cristina Chirichella, Raphaela Folie, Anna Danesi, Sara Alberti, Sarah Fahr, Beatrice Berti, Alexandra Botezat, Beatrice Molinaro, Agnese Cecconello.

Liberos: Monica De Gennaro, Chiara De Bortoli, Beatrice Parrocchiale.

Outside hitters: Lucia Bosetti, Caterina Bosetti, Miriam Sylla, Elena Pietrini, Indre Sorokaite, Sylvia Nwakalor, Anastasia Guerra, Francesca Villani, Elena Perinelli.

Opposites: Paola Egonu, Terry Enweonwu, Anna Nicoletti, Josephine Obossa