Lega Pallavolo Serie A Femminile 2022 - News

Thompson spikes over Zhu’s block (source: legavolleyfemminile.it)

Thompson spikes over Zhu’s block

With American opposite Jordan Thompson on fire, Vero Volley Milan squeezed out a five-set victory in Wednesday’s deciding semifinal match at Savino Del Bene Scandicci to progress to the championship series and set up a remake of last year’s final against defending titleholders Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano. Meanwhile, Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore, spearheaded by their Bulgarian opposite and captain Emiliya Dimitrova, shut out Volley Bergamo 1991 in a direct duel for the spot against Il Bisonte Florence in Saturday’s final for Italy’s CEV Challenge Cup quota.

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Thompson produced the match high of 28 points, including an ace and a kill block, towards Vero Volley’s 3-2 (25-21, 25-20, 24-26, 16-25, 15-10) away victory over Savino Del Bene, putting an end to the opponents’ dream to crown an otherwise successful season with a historic first appearance in the Serie A1 final. The American star was named Most Valuable Player of the deciding third match of the semifinal playoff between the two teams, with which the visiting side closed the best-of-three series at two to one wins to qualify for their second championship final.

Thompson was well supported by Italian outside hitter Myriam Sylla with 13 points and middle blockers Jovana Stevanovic of Serbia and Raphaela Folie of Italy with 11 points each, while 20-year-old opposite Ekaterina Antropova and Chinese star outside Zhu Ting produced 27 and 18 points, respectively, for the team from Scandicci.

The best-of-five championship series between Imoco and Vero Volley will get underway on Saturday evening.

“Great victory for us! We are so happy and I don't know what to say after a game of this intensity,” exclaimed Myriam Sylla. “We had the knife between our teeth, against a strong team that made fewer and fewer mistakes in the third and fourth sets. ‘Well done’ to us for the way we reacted in the fifth set. Now Conegliano - another battle, but we are ready…”

“I can only say ‘well done’ to the girls,” said Savino Del Bene’s head coach Massimo Barbolini. “I think it was a high-level season with good results. We set ourselves the very ambitious goals of winning the CEV Cup and qualifying for the Champions League. Too bad that today the icing on the cake was missing, but the girls were very good, because the match seemed to be going towards a 3-0 loss and instead they were able to reopen it. Too bad about the tie-breaker, but today we were playing against a world-class team. I repeat, we have to say ‘well done’ to these girls, not only for this game, but for the whole long season they have had. Good luck to Milan and Conegliano! It will be a good final.”

In only three sets, Emiliya Dimitrova hammered out 28 points towards Trasportipesanti’s 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-13) home sweep of the battle with Bergamo for the first place in Pool B of the race towards Sunday’s final for the continental ticket. To her 25 spiking points she produced at a 60% success rate in attack, the Bulgarian star added two kill blocks and an ace to earn the MVP award and push her team one step closer to participation in next season’s Challenge Cup.

“I'm really happy! We played as a team the way we've been doing lately,” said Dimitrova. “We deserve this final. We've worked a lot this season, we've had a lot of bad luck, but now we want to reach that goal we set for ourselves at the beginning!”

Trasportipesanti will welcome Il Bisonte for Saturday’s final to determine which of the two teams will represent Italy in Europe’s third strongest club competition in 2023-2024.

Despite playing a match without any competitive relevance, Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri and e-work Busto Arsizio put up a five-set battle for the second place in Pool A on Wednesday. Reale Mutua Fenera pleased the home crowd, ending the season on a positive note, with a 3-2 (25-23, 21-25, 25-12, 21-25, 15-11) victory.

Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile’s Final Leg 1 schedule:
May 6, 20:45 local (18:45 UTC): Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano v Vero Volley Milan

Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile’s Challenge Cup Quota Final schedule:
May 6, Time TBD: Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore v Il Bisonte Florence

Lega Pallavolo Serie A2 Promotion Final Leg 1 schedule:
May 6, 20:00 local (18:00 UTC): Itas Trentino Trento v Valsabbina Millenium Brescia