Lega Pallavolo Serie A Femminile 2022 - News

Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri v Igor Gorgonzola Novara (source: legavolleyfemminile.it)

At least one more semifinalist in Italy’s Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile will emerge this weekend, from the winning end of the third-leg decider between Vero Volley Milan and Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore on Sunday. On Saturday, on the other hand, Igor Gorgonzola Novara will try to use the home-court advantage to close their quarterfinal series against Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri without resorting to a third match. Who will stay in the race for the CEV Challenge Cup quota between Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia and Wash4Green Pinerolo will also be decided on Saturday.

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Arena Di Monza will welcome the exciting clash between Vero Volley, who finished the regular season in third place, and sixth-placed Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore at 20:00 local time (18:00 UTC) on Sunday. It will be the fifth time these two teams meet this league season. Each of the previous four clashes was pushed to five sets, with each team winning twice. The best-of-three quarterfinal series itself is tied at one win each. In the first leg last Sunday, Vero Volley won by 3-2 in Monza. Then on Wednesday, Trasportipesanti paid back the favour at home in Cremona. Vero Volley lead the overall head-to-head with 12 wins against Trasportipesanti’s five.

“We have to think about doing our job well. The playoffs are like this, each match is a separate story,” said Vero Volley’s head coach Marco Gaspari. “We knew before game one that Casalmaggiore were a tough opponent, a technical team that was hungry and whose performance in the first part of the season had been conditioned by some absences. If we lower our level of play, they bite. We reduced the errors in game two, but we need to grow more in the attack and counterattack phase. We play for everything in one night, but our focus must be on our side of the court.”

“Analyzing the numbers a little and reviewing Wednesday's game in a cold mind, what catches the eye is how good we were in the block-defence phase and in lowering their percentages in attack,” commented Transportipesanti’s assistant coach Mauro Tettamanti. “We didn't make many direct blocks - only three - but we were very tidy, touching a lot with the block and defending a lot, putting all the energy possible with the desire not to let even a ball drop. Every player gave her contribution and, above all, we believed in it to the end.”

Igor Gorgonzola, standing fifth after the regular season, and fourth-placed Reale Mutua Fenera also engaged in a five-set duel in their first-leg match on Wednesday, with the girls from Novara celebrating an away victory to edge forward in the series. Should they win again as they welcome their opponents to Pala Igor Gorgonzola on Saturday at 20:30 local (18:30 UTC), they will book the third spot among the semifinalists alongside Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano and Savino Del Bene Scandicci. Otherwise, the series will return to Chieri for a third-leg decider. Igor lead the overall head-to-head against Reale Mutua Fenera by nine wins to four, but the squad from Chieri beat them twice this regular season before losing the first quarterfinal between them.

“Another battle awaits us. The series has started well, but obviously it is still absolutely open and complicated,” said Igor’s middle blocker and captain Cristina Chirichella. “They, like us, will do everything to get to the semifinals and we will have to be good at keeping the same level of play as in the second part of match one. We will play at home and I hope there will be a big crowd to support us.”

“Certainly in game one we had a very positive approach, we were very tidy in the block-defence and, in my opinion, there was also a good dose of determination that allowed us to take a 2-0 lead,” said Reale Mutua Fenera’s outside hitter Francesca Villani. “Then Novara came out in the long run, thanks also to some tactical changes, and we weren't able to adapt. What I expect from game two is that we enter the field determined to extend the series to a third match.”

Also on Saturday, at 18:00 local (16:00 UTC), Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia host Wash4Green Pinerolo for the deciding third match of their playoff series of the first stage in the race for Italy’s spot in next season’s Challenge Cup competition. Each of the two teams won their home match and now Megabox, who finished the regular season in ninth place have the home advantage for the decider against 12th-placed Wash4Green. The winner will qualify for the six-team pool stage of the race, where the winner of the other series, Il Bisonte Florence, and the losers of the quarterfinal playoffs, e-work Busto Arsizio and Volley Bergamo 1991 so far, await them.

Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile’s Quarterfinals Leg 2 schedule:
Apr 22, 20:30 local (18:30 UTC): Igor Gorgonzola Novara v Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri

Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile’s Quarterfinals Leg 3 schedule:
Apr 23, 20:00 local (18:00 UTC): Vero Volley Milan v Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore

Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile’s Challenge Cup Playoffs Leg 3 schedule:
Apr 22, 18:00 local (16:00 UTC): Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia v Wash4Green Pinerolo