Imoco’s Polish star setter Joanna Wolosz (source: legavolleyfemminile.it)

Imoco’s Polish star setter Joanna Wolosz, MVP in 2020, is ready to battle for her fourth consecutive Coppa Italia trophy

The Coppa Italia A1 Frecciarossa takes centre stage this week in Italy, with the first quarterfinal on Tuesday and some of the world’s top volleyball stars competing to win the 45th edition of the competition. The winners will be decided when the Final Four showdown takes place in Casalecchio di Reno near Bologna on Saturday and Sunday.

· Watch all Coppa Italia A1 Frecciarossa matches live or on demand on **Volleyball TV**.

The quarterfinal match-ups were determined based on the teams’ standings after the first half of the Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile regular season and following the usual format: 1st v 8th, 2nd v 7th, 3rd v 6th and 4th v 5th.

Defending cup holders Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano will open this year’s event on January 24 when they welcome Cuneo Granda S.Bernardo to the Pala Verde in Villorba at 20:30 local time (19:30 UTC). Imoco will start the quest for their fourth consecutive and fifth overall Coppa Italia trophy as the favourites. The reigning club world champions, league title holders and current leaders have not lost any of the 11 matches they have played against Cuneo since 2018, when the latter club joined the top division for the first time. They are currently 11th in the A1 standings.

“We know that against Conegliano it will be very difficult, but we have to face this game in the best possible way for us and find the stability we are lacking.” Lara Caravello, libero of Cuneo Granda S.Bernardo

The remaining three quarterfinals are set to take place at 20:30 (19:30) on Wednesday.

Igor Gorgonzola Novara are another team that will be looking for their fifth Italy Cup victory, after claiming the trophy in 2004, 2015, 2018 and 2019. In what is probably the hardest quarterfinal to call, they will host Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri. The two teams are currently third and fifth in the A1 table, respectively, standing just one point apart. Novara lead the head-to-head series by 6-3, but it was Chieri that won November’s most recent encounter between the two clubs in straight sets, which was also played at zjr Igor Gorgonzola hall in Novara. Both teams managed to extend their winning streaks with away league victories over the weekend. Novara celebrated a particularly important 3-2 success at second-placed Savino Del Bene Scandicci, while Chieri shut out CBF Balducci HR Macerata.

“Now we have to put that result aside and think about the next matches. There is a lot at stake and it will be tough for us, starting with the qualification for the Final Four of the Italy Cup.” Eleonora Fersino, libero of Igor Gorgonzola Novara
“We had an important match, also for finding our rhythm in view of Wednesday's Coppa Italia game. We are very happy. We play a lot, but we are playing well. We won't stop and will carry on like this.” Kaja Grobelna, opposite of Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri

The match between Vero Volley Milano and Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore is another interesting clash without a clear favourite. Hosts Milano will try to bounce back from the five-set loss they suffered at Volley Bergamo 1991 on Sunday to drop to fourth in the A1 standings, despite the return of star outside hitter Miriam Sylla to the team. Just eight days ago, Casalmaggiore also stunned Milano in five sets at Arena di Monza, the venue where Wednesday’s game will be played. They followed up with a four-set home win over Cuneo on Sunday to improve to a 9-7 win-loss record in sixth place. Milano, however, are well ahead in the head-to-head series with 10 victories against four.

“We have to reset and start again immediately. A week of fire awaits us and we have to focus on ourselves and move forward. There are moments when our game is flawless, and others when we get lost. When we play our game it becomes difficult for the others.” Beatrice Negretti, libero of Vero Volley Milano

Serie A1: Vero Volley Milano v Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore 2-3 (17-25, 25-11, 22-25, 26-24, 10-15) on 15/01/2023: Match Highlights

Scandicci’s winning streak of 10 consecutive victories (domestic and continental combined) came to an end on Saturday as they lost at home to Novara, and they will do their best to bounce back as they welcome Bergamo in another Coppa Italia quarterfinal on Wednesday. Although the visitors achieved an important victory over the weekend to put a stop to a four-match losing series, and are the most decorated club in the history of the competition with six trophies, Savino Del Bene can be considered favourites in the upcoming game. They are currently second in the league standings on 12-4, while Bergamo are in seventh place on a negative win-loss record of 7-9. Scandicci have won 13 of the 21 official encounters between the two teams, including all of the most recent nine.

The four quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals to be played in Casalecchio di Reno on Saturday at 18:30 local (17:30 UTC) and 21:00 (20:00). Sunday’s final will start at 18:00 (17:00).

Coppa Italia A1 Frecciarossa full schedule:

Jan 24, 20:30 local (19:30 UTC): Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano v Cuneo Granda S.Bernardo

Jan 25, 20:30 local (19:30 UTC): Savino Del Bene Scandicci v Volley Bergamo 1991

Jan 25, 20:30 local (19:30 UTC): Igor Gorgonzola Novara v Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri

Jan 25, 20:30 local (19:30 UTC): Vero Volley Milano v Trasportipesanti Casalmaggiore

Jan 28, 18:30 local (17:30 UTC): Semifinal 1

Jan 28, 21:00 local (20:00 UTC): Semifinal 2

Jan 29, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Final

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