After a one-week break, the quarterfinal round of the 2022-2023 SuperLega Credem Banca resumes this weekend, with four teams in position to end their series and advance to the semifinals of the Italian League.
Trentino and Perugia looking to book their spots in the semifinals
Modena and Verona could also end their quarterfinal series this weekend - watch on VBTV
Published 07:27, 30 Mar 2023
Currently leading their series 2-1, Itas Trentino, Sir Safety Susa Perugia, Valsa Group Modena and WithU Verona will try to get a third victory that would be enough to make them prevail in their best-of-five series against Vero Volley Monza, Allianz Milano, Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza and Cucine Lube Civitanova respectively.
The second-best team in the SuperLega regular season, Trentino pulled ahead 2-1 last weekend after dropping the second match of the series when they couldn’t count on some key starters, such as outside hitter Alessandro Michieletto and Marko Podrascanin. With the two and others back on the team, they beat Monza 3-1 and regained control of the series.
When the teams meet on Sunday, at 20:30 local time (19:30 UTC), in Monza, Trentino are hoping to have their star players in even best form to bring the series to an end.
“Winning the last match obviously helped with our confidence, but we were always calm during this series because even when we lost, we played well despite not having some important players,” middle blocker Srecko Lisinac commented. “Having this entire week to fully recover our players was very important.”
Regular season winners Perugia will also be on the road when they face eighth-placed Milano on Sunday, at 18:00 local time (17:00 UTC). The reigning world champions lost their first match in the Italian League in the second leg of the quarterfinals, but reacted strongly downing Milano 3-1 to regain the lead in their series.
“I’m very happy with the team reaction after losing the second match,” head coach Andrea Anastasi said.
Ending the series against Milano this weekend would be highly beneficial to Perugia, who lost to Poland’s Grupa Azoty ‘Zaksa’ Kędzierzyn-Koźle in the first leg of their CEV Champions League semifinal series this week and would have the time prepare for the second leg and also regain some of their confidence.
Also coming from a mid-week loss, Modena, who fell to Belgium’s Knack Roeselare in the first leg of their CEV Volleyball Cup finals, will be on the road against Piacenza on Sunday at 18:00 local time (17:00 UTC).
The team had a 2-0 lead heading into last weekend’s match, but wasted the first opportunity of bringing the series to an end by losing 3-0 in front of their home fans. Now, they reset and focus on the next encounter.
“We expected Piacenza to recover at some point in the series and they were much better in basically everything in the last match,” head coach Andrea Giani reflected. “I think that we can’t lose our direction and need to be more effective in our counter-attacks. We’ll continue to approach one match at a time and it will be another battle this weekend.”
From all four teams that lead their series, Verona will be the only ones with the opportunity of ending their series in front of their home fans this weekend as they host Lube on Saturday, at 20:30 local time (19:30 UTC).
Ranked fifth in the regular season, they had defending champions Lube on the ropes last weekend, but saw them put on an excellent performance and win 3-0, extending the series for at least another week.
“We knew this series was always going to be difficult and we never imagined we’d win it 3-0,” Verona assistant coach Dario Simoni said after the last match. “We made some technical and tactical mistakes and will work on fixing them for the next match, which is going to be another battle.”