Lega Pallavolo Serie A Femminile 2022 - News

Igor Gorgonzola Novara’s middle Cristina Chirichella in action (source: legavolleyfemminile.it)

Igor’s middle Cristina Chirichella in action

Igor Gorgonzola Novara will face Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano and Vero Volley Milan will take on Savino Del Bene Scandicci in Italy’s Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile best-of-three semifinal playoffs. The teams from Novara and Milan closed successfully their quarterfinal series over the weekend to stay in contention for the national title.

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Igor became the third squad with a spot in the semifinals on Saturday, when they mastered an emphatic 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-15) home victory over Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri to sweep their quarterfinal series in two games, after winning the first-leg encounter in Chieri in five sets. Turkish Generation O star Ebrar Karakurt led the scorers with 17 points, including three kill blocks, towards the victory, while middle blocker and captain Cristina Chirichella added another 16, including four aces and three blocks and registering a 69% success rate in attack. Belgian opposite and captain Kaja Grobelna was Reale Mutua Fenera’s most productive player with 14 points.

After overcoming the fourth-placed team from Chieri, Igor Gorgonzola, who finished fifth in the regular season standings, will have a tough semifinal challenge in chart toppers and defending champions Imoco.

“This series wasn't easy, but after the second set in Chieri we completely changed pace. We were good in attack, putting pressure with our serves, and we did the rest with excellent block-defence cooperation,” commented Igor’s middle blocker Anna Danesi. “Now an even tougher challenge against Conegliano awaits us and we will play it aware of their value, but also of ours. We will do everything to extend our playoff campaign.”

In the only quarterfinal series pushed to a deciding third match, Vero Volley, who finished the regular season in third place, lived up to their role of favourites against sixth-placed Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore and closed their playoff by two wins to one with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21) home victory on Sunday to face second-placed Savino Del Bene in the semis.

Vero Volley’s American opposite Jordan Thompson spearheaded the team’s offence, spiking away 28 points at a 60% success rate and adding three kill blocks towards a solid match high of 31 points and the Most Valuable Player award. Her Bulgarian counterpart on Trasportipesanti’s side, team captain Emiliya Dimitrova, aced three times towards a match tally of 26 points.

“We are really happy, because it was a difficult match tonight against a Casalmaggiore team which, like in the other two matches, put us in great difficulty. We did well in the decisive moments of the match to tilt the game our way,” said Vero Volley’s setter and captain Alessia Orro. “Scandicci? There is little time and we must try to recharge our physical and mental energy. They had a great series against Bergamo, but we will put our all into trying to get to the end.”

Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile’s Semifinals Leg 1 schedule:
Apr 26, 20:30 local (18:30 UTC): Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano v Igor Gorgonzola Novara
Apr 27, 20:30 local (18:30 UTC): Savino Del Bene Scandicci v Vero Volley Milan

In the playoffs for the single Italian spot in the CEV Challenge Cup competition next season, Wash4Green Pinerolo, who narrowly escaped relegation and finished the regular season in 12th place, delivered a 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-18) upset of ninth-placed Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia upon their visit to the opponents’ home venue for the deciding third match of their series on Saturday. Wash4Green’s 22-year-old Romanian outside hitter Adelina Ungureanu was on fire, producing the match high of 19 points, including as many as five aces, to grab the MVP award.

The race for the continental vacancy will continue with the pool stage, in which the six contestants are split into two round-robin pools of three. Wash4Green will take on two of the quarterfinal playoff losers, Trasportipesanti and Volley Bergamo 1991, in Pool B. In Pool A, the other two quarterfinal losers, Reale Mutua Fenera and e-work Busto Arsizio, and Il Bisonte Florence, who won their Challenge Cup playoff series earlier last week, will compete for a spot in the deciding final against the other pool winner.