T&T’s highly-rated senior women’s team volleyballer, Sinead Jack-Kisal came up short in her efforts to make a winning debut in the Italian Volleyball Federation 2021-2022 La Pallavolo Women’s Championship Serie A1 season on last Saturday.
This after the 27-year-old Kisal-Jack and her new employers, newly-promoted Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia went under to reigning champions and four-time league champions Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano in straight sets.
Led by Italian superstar Paola Egonu’s 23 points Imoco triumphed 25-17, 25-23, 27-25 in their Round One match-up at Pala Verde Villorba for a 66th straight win.
In Round Two, Jack-Kisal and her teammates will host Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio
League newcomers, middle-blocker Jack-Kisal and her teammates played evenly for half of the first set and the whole of the second and third, yielding only to the third match-point.
In the first set Imoco raced out to an early 5-2, but the Megabox was remained calm and eventually took their first lead in the set at 11-10.
However, Imoco then went on an 8-1 run ignited by the trio of Egonu, Loveth Omoruyi and Robin De Kruijf to regain the lead at 19-13 before Egonu and Hristina Vuchkova closed out the set 25-17.
In the second set, Kisal-Jack and Megabox had a much better start for a 5-2 cushion.
But Imoco again rallied to level the match at 10-all, before Kisal-Jack and team-mate, captain Tatiana Kosheleva combined for five straight points to put the debutant 15-10 up.
Just like the opening set, Imoco then turned the second set on its head led by the powerful service game of Omoruyi and captain Joanna Wolosz as they won the next ten of 11 points for a 20-16 lead
Despite giving away their commanding set advantage Megabox did not give up, and even went back ahead 21-20 before being overtaken again by a super Egonu and yielding only to the last ball, a short service by Francesca Scola to hand Imoco, a 25-23 win.
In the third set Imoco was quickly off the mark as they set about closing out the match and with De Kruijf and Egonu, on fire they repeled the comeback attempts led by Kosheleva and Jack.
Needing to take the set to extend the match, Kosheleva and Jack tallied two blocks that gave Megabox the lead at 21-20 and 23-21 thanks to Sonja Newcombe.
But, once again Egonu came to Imoco’s rescure and tied the set at 23-all.
Egonu and Kosheleva then went point for point in their respective clubs before Omoruyi closed out the third set, and the match 27-25.
Kisal-Jack who will celebrate her 28th birthday next month (November 8) will be back in action on Sunday, October 17 when Megabox hosts Unet E-Work Busto Arsizio before another home contest and on Wednesday, October 20 against Reale Mutua Fenera.
Earlier this year, Jack-Kisal made a winning return to Poland when she helped Grupa Azoty Chemik Police retain the Poland Women's Volleyball League (Tauron Liga) Championship title, beating DevelopRes Rzeszów 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 25-15) on Tuesday.
It was the first major taste of success for Jack-Kisal in Poland after making her pro debut in that same country.
As a teenager, Jack-Kisal played with AZS Bialystok from 2010-2013 before making the move to fellow Russian club VC Uralochka-NTMK (2013-2016).
Jack-Kisal then made the move to Turkey where she played for top Galatasaray from 2016-2018 before joining Japan’s Denso Airybees for two seasons after which she returned to Turkey for the 2019/2020 season as part of the İller Bankası squad, only.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, her 2020/2021 season was cancelled and earlier this year she enjoyed a short but successful stint with Chemik Police who added to retain their title.