Lega Volley Femminile A1 2023 - News.

Imoco Novara 1204

Imoco's Plummer and Novara's Markova will have a major impact in the outcome of Saturday's match (Photo: LVF)

Savino Del Bene Scandicci’s opponents in the Finals of the 2023-2024 Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A Tigotà will be known on Saturday, when Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano and Igor Gorgonzola Novara will meet for a third and final time in the semifinals of the event.

After splitting wins in the first two duels of their best-of-three series, the teams will decide their futures in a single match, which will take place at the Palaverde, in Villorba, starting at 20:30 local time (19:30 GMT).

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Defending champions Imoco showed authority at the start of the semifinals, getting a 3-0 home win last weekend, but Novara responded well to the risk of seeing their season come to an end and pulled off a dramatic five-set victory in front of their home fans on Wednesday to extend the series to a third and decisive match.

The triumph was extremely meaningful as it ended a 45-match winning streak by Imoco, who hadn’t lost a match in 335 days entering Wednesday’s encounter. It also gave Novara a boost as they had waited more than two years to beat their rivals, having dropped the nine matches leading to their most recent meeting.

Despite seeing their undefeated run come to an end, Imoco will have the advantage of playing at home in the decisive match. The Panthers are yet to drop a game in front of their home fans this season and are undefeated at the Palaverde in the last 11 months.

Winning as many matches as we did at this level is not normal, so we knew a defeat could happen at any moment. Anything can happen in the playoffs and we saw that in match two. Novara are a great team, they were built to win and they showed it at home. We'll have our fans behind us now, but the most important thing is that we play better than we did on Wednesday from the first to the last play. Daniele Santarelli - Imoco's head coach

Looking to make their sixth straight and eighth overall trip to the Scudetto Finals, Imoco will need more than ever of the firepower of their main hitters on Saturday. With 43 and 35 points registered in the first two matches against Novara respectively, Swedish opposite Isabelle Haak and American outside hitter Kathryn Plummer will need to continue to deliver for the Panthers to advance.

Markova on fire for Novara

For Novara to upset the defending champions again, this time on the road, Russian opposite Marina Markova will need to continue making a difference for them. Signed in February from Turkish side Muratpasa SigortaShop, she appeared in just nine matches in the team’s campaign, but has been able to make a major impact.

The 23-year-old opposite was instrumental in the comeback against Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri in the quarterfinals, scoring 47 points in the two final matches of the series, and also came up big Wednesday, producing a match-high 26 points and leaving Novara to victory.

We did something exceptional on match two and I have to congratulate our medical and fitness staff, who made every player available for us. We go to match three knowing that Imoco are an extraordinary team, but if we can get on the court with the same spirit and the same attitude we had on Wednesday, anything can happen. Lorenzo Bernadi - Novara's head coach

Looking to appear in the Italian League Finals for a tenth time, Novara will need to beat Imoco in back-to-back matches for the first time since 2018 to complete their comeback and confirm their upset of the defending champions.

Despite Wednesday’s setback, Imoco still comfortably dominate the series between the teams, having prevailed in 36 of the 47 encounters held so far.

Lega Femminile - Match Schedule and Results

The Italian League Finals are set to begin on Wednesday and will be played in a best-of-five series, with the following encounters initially scheduled for April 20, 24, 27 and 30.

Quick links:
Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A1 Tigotà
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