Lega Volley Femminile A1 2023 - News.

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Setter Joanna Wolosz helped Imoco beat Novara in the first match of the series in her birthday (Photo: LVF)

After triumphing in the opening leg of the 2023-2024 Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A Tigotà semifinals last weekend, Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano and Savino Del Bene Scandicci could both bring their best-of-three series to an end on Wednesday and secure their spots in the tournament’s Finals.

The defending champions will face Igor Gorgonzola Novara at 19:00 local time (18:00 GMT) while Scandicci will visit Allianz Vero Volley Milano at 20:30 local time (19:30 GMT) and if they manage to secure road wins, the two best teams of the Italian League regular season will both advance to the Finals.

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Novara vs. Imoco

Coming from five consecutive Italian titles, Imoco opened the semifinal series against Novara with a strong 3-0 home win on Sunday, the 29th triumph in their undefeated campaign this season. Another victory, this time on the road, at the Pala Igor Gorgonzola, will make the Panthers advance to their sixth-straight and eighth overall final.

Novara, who appeared in six Italian League Finals, winning the title just once, will need to beat Imoco in back-to-back matches, something they haven’t done since 2018, to move forward to the final round of the playoffs.

Imoco’s history of domination in duels between the teams, which saw them win 36 of the 46 matches, makes Novara’s task even more challenging. The defending champions have prevailed in the last nine encounters, having last dropped a match to their opponents more than two years ago.

We must forget the first match. Novara will be a different team in front of their fans and they'll do everything to extend their season. They have some young players such as (Marina) Markova and (Vita) Akimova, who are in their first season in Italy and it's normal that they have ups and downs, but I'm sure that the support of the fans will make them play better. I'm proud of our team and I believe we'll be ready to end the series on Wednesday if we have a chance. But we need to reset and keep our focus. Daniele Santarelli - Imoco's Head Coach
Unfortunately, we weren't able to play with the serenity and aggressiveness our coach wanted us to in the first match. That's one thing we have to change for Wednesday. Imoco are certainly a very strong team, but we have the duty of getting on the court and playing with determination to show how much we want to win and extend the series. Valentina Bartolucci - Novara's Setter

Milano vs. Scandicci

The second-best team in the regular season, Scandicci also sent a powerful message at the start of the semifinals, beating Milano 3-0. The team is now just one victory away from playing in the Italian League Finals for the first time in history.

Milano, who are looking for a third-straight appearance in the Finals, will count on the support of their fans at the Allianz Cloud to try and level the series, forcing the need for a third and decisive match to determine which team will continue alive in the race for the title.

Scandicci’s victory in the first leg almost brought the historical series between the teams to a tie, as Milano now lead by just one win – 14 to 13. Last Saturday’s sweep also brought a series of five consecutive Milano triumphs to an end.

In the playoffs, winning or losing, you have to reset after every match. I felt that the difference on Saturday was that they were more patient than us. We need to limit our errors because there will be a very strong opponent across the net. We need to be a little bit more patient to take advantage at the right moments, but also to be aware of the good things we've done. The opportunities will come and I'm confident we'll be able to capitalize on them. Marco Gaspari - Milano's Head Coach