Tokyo, Japan, May 16, 2016 – Italy libero Monica De Gennaro is enjoying her time back in Japan at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Tokyo.
The Best Libero of the 2014 World Championship and recent winner of the Italian Championship recalls her visit to Japan five years ago.
“I came in 2011 to play the World Cup, but it was a different situation. I was given a chance and together with the team, we made the most of that as we won. But now I am part of a squad with a lot of young players so along with the other more experienced players I try to help technically and on the court.”
Italy has won both its opening games – against fast-paced Asian teams Korea and Thailand – but it hasn’t been easy.
“We had to work hard in the first phase of the tournament, but that was normal,” she said. “We had to get the squad together but we only had a few days, or a few hours, to do it.
“Ortolani and I, for example, were playing in the [Italian] championship finale and so we were tired mentally and physically. But once we got on court for the start of the qualifiers, we had a different mindset. We had to adapt to face two difficult teams, but we had courage and did well as a result. Looking at the results up to now, you have to remember that in modern volleyball anything can happen and there’s no guarantee of success.”
Next up are games against the Dominican Republic on Tuesday and Peru on Wednesday.
“We have to face two teams who play a different game. The Dominicans have very strong strikers and a great libero [Brenda Castillo], but they play more like us, a ‘European’ style, so we will have to readjust to the game we know better. It should be an easier thing to do.”