It appears that SAB Volley Legnano has played its last games, for now, in the Italian women’s volleyball league. When applications for Serie A1 and A2 were announced at the end of June, the beleaguered team from northern Italy was nowhere to be found.
In all, 11 teams submitted applications for Serie A1, the top flight of Italian volleyball, while three-time champions Pesaro have renounced its resignation for Serie A1. The Italian federation has confirmed that Club Italia, a federation-supported developmental team designed to gain elite experience for Italy’s young players and anticipated future National Teamers, will play in A1 next season, while Polisportiva Filottrano Pallavolo (Lardini) has applied for repechage inclusion for Serie A1 (aka, admission in spite of narrowly missing the league’s standards), after finishing second-to-last in 2017-2018.
Legnano’s apparent demise, including the disappearance of the club website, brings to the end a short-lived side that was founded just in 2015 in Serie B1. They promoted immediately, and after 1 season in A2, where they lost in the final of the A1 promotion playoffs, the club was advanced to Serie A1.
The club has not posted on its social media accounts since mid-March, but have not formally acknowledged the lack of application either.
It seems the team grew too fast, however: they fired their coach mid-season after a poor start, and wound up being penalized 5 points in the league table after several players, including U.S. National Teamer Annie Drews, left the club due to its financial woes. The first point was penalized for failing to pay the former head coach that it terminated, and the other 4 for being unable to pay its membership fees to the league or to document those fees.
The team wound up with just 11 points, and a 5-win, 17-loss season, which would have had them in last place and relegated to A2 even without the penalties. A court overturned the league’s plan to impose another 5 point penalty next season, but club president Alfio Nebuloni was individually sanctioned for his role in the saga.
Serie A1 had 12 teams last season. The Italian league has until July 14th to submit to the Italian Federation its proposed league alignments for the 2018-2019 season.
SAB Volley Legnano All-Time Results:
- 2015-2016 (Serie B1): 16-10 record (52 points); 5th of 14 teams
- 2016-2017 (Serie A2): 17-9 record (53 points); 3rd of 14 teams, runner-up of promotion playoff
- 2017-2018 (Serie A1): 5-17 record (11 points, including -5 penalty); 12th of 12 teams.
Applications for Serie A1 and A2, 2017-2018 season