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09/02/2021 15:10
Cristina Chirichella leapfrogs Egonu as Novara’s all-time best scorer
CEV Champions League Volley 2021 - Women

Novara, Italy, February 9, 2021. The last match contested in Pool E last week was a truly special one for Cristina Chirichella, the captain of CEV Champions League titleholders, Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA. After scoring 11 points against hosts Grupa Azoty Chemik POLICE, Chirichella became the all-time best scorer of the Italian team, reaching 2,049 points, four more than those scored by the previous record holder, Paola Egonu (2,045). Chirichella achieved this feat while spending her seventh competitive season in Novara, where she made her official debut on November 2, 2014.

“It is something really meaningful to me,” Chirichella says, “since this club has believed in me from the very beginning of my career. I feel home in Novara and I can sense everyone’s appreciation for me as a person and as a player. Moreover, I am very proud of achieving this feat because my ‘competitor’ was an amazing player such as Paola Egonu.”

This record-breaking performance was some sort of an early birthday present for the middle blocker, who turns 27 on Wednesday, February 10.

Cristina’s arrival in Novara, in the summer of 2014, was a turning point in her career as well as in the growth of the Italian club. Since then, Novara has claimed as many as six titles and Cristina Chirichella is the only player, together with libero Stefania Sansonna, who has been a part of all such victories.

The previous and current record holder, Paola Egonu and Cristina Chirichella, celebrate their triumph at the #CLVolleyW Super Finals in Berlin, May 2019

“When I joined this club I was very young, just 20 years of age, and Novara were starting only their second year in the first division of the national league. Six years ago, we were chasing our first title, which came a few weeks later in the Italian Cup Final Four, on March 1, 2015. After that, we won two more Italian Cup titles (2018, 2019), an Italian Supercup (2017), an Italian national league (2017) and the 2019 CEV Champions League, which remains the biggest joy and cause of pride in my career so far.”

Despite such accomplishments, Cristina and Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA are hungry for more success: “Now we are focused on the second part of the season: we look forward to finding out who our next opponents in the CEV Champions League will be. We are aware that we are going to face one of the best teams in Europe and that we will need two outstanding performances to make it to the semi-finals, but I am confident that we can move further and reach the next stages of the competition. We will do our best to defend our title!”

Chirichella, born in Naples, has achieved success with the Italian national team as well, with the major highlights including silver from the 2018 FIVB World Championship in Japan, bronze at EuroVolley 2019 and a silver medal from the 2017 edition of the FIVB World Grand Prix, only a year after her Olympic premiere in Rio de Janeiro.

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