Lega Pallavolo Serie A Femminile 2022 - News

Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano v Vero Volley Milan (source: legavolleyfemminile.it)

With the Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile’s best-of-five championship series in Italy tied at one win each, Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano and Vero Volley Milan head into game three on Thursday, hoping to secure an important edge in the race to the national title.

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Once again starting at 20:45 local time (18:45 UTC) at the Palaverde in Villorba, defending champions and regular season winners Imoco will host third-placed Vero Volley for the second time in this final playoff, after claiming a tight 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19, 15-11) victory in game one on Saturday. The heavy favourites from Conegliano, however, suffered a painful blow as they visited Monza for game two. Vero Volley tied the series with an emphatic 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-18) shutout.

It was Vero Volley’s first victory over Imoco since the first match of last year’s championship series, in which they managed a five-set away win. After that, Imoco went on a run of seven consecutive victories in the head-to-head battles with Vero Volley, during which they grabbed the 2022 title and the 2023 Coppa Italia trophy. This season alone, the squad from Conegliano had defeated the girls from Milan four times in a row before that run was interrupted on Tuesday by Vero Volley’s convincing sweep of game two. The overall head-to-head record between the two clubs now stands at 25-4 in favour of Imoco.

While Imoco are aiming at their sixth national crown and hoping to achieve a golden quadruple this season after triumphing at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship, the Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia, Vero Volley are targeting a historic success by taking their first-ever national trophy in Italy.

“I have to say that game one hadn't already gone the way we wanted. Despite the victory we hadn't played a game at our level, and game two highlighted our shortcomings even more,” Imoco’s head coach Daniele Santarelli said. “I wanted the team to recover the balance we had shown up to now, but we weren't able to reset and get the reaction we wanted. In any case, Milan is a very strong team, with experience and many alternatives. They give their best at home. Now we need to keep a clear head and understand that, in a championship final, every match counts. We have to move on, not think about the previous two games and focus only on what we can do better. After all, even last year we were tied after the first two games, so the story of this final is still to be written. The packed Palaverde and our fans will help us find the right energy to get back on track and face game three as comprehensively as possible.”

“The series is open and, like all playoff matches, it starts from zero,” commented Vero Volley’s head coach Marco Gaspari. “The home factor had a positive impact on both teams. A well-charged Palaverde awaits us and we have to face this new match all over again. With such a short time between the two games it will be difficult to change anything. Surely it will be essential to insert some tactical measures and push the serve well as we did in game two. It will also be important to confirm the solid defence, because Conegliano will want to make up for it. Serving well and having patience complete the necessary qualities for game three.”

Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile’s Final Playoff:
May 6: Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano v Vero Volley Milan 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19, 15-11)
May 9: Vero Volley Milan v Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-18)
May 11: Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano v Vero Volley Milan, 20:45 local (18:45 UTC)
May 13: Vero Volley Milan v Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano, 21:25 local (19:25 UTC)
May 15: Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano v Vero Volley Milan, 20:45 local (18:45 UTC) – if necessary