Lega Volley Femminile A1 2023 - News.


Middle blocker Haleigh Washington came up big with back-to-back digs in the last play of the match (Photo: LVF)

From outstanding individual performances to unbelievable turnarounds, the highly-anticipated opening match of the 2023-2024 Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A Tigotà Finals delivered absolutely everything.

After five intense and unpredictable sets on Wednesday, Savino Del Bene Scandicci ignored the homecourt advantage of defending champions Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano to triumph 3-2 (25-22, 16-25, 25-22, 24-26, 17-15) in Villorba, getting the first victory in the best-of-five series that will decide the Scudetto Finals.

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Playing in the Italian League Finals for the first time in club history, Scandicci started on the right foot, downing the defending champions in front of their home fans for the first time in the season and beating their rivals for just the fifth time in 30 duels.

The massive road win puts Scandicci in a much more comfortable position for the remainder of the series as now, with a 1-0 lead, they can take the title by triumphing in matches two and four, which will be held in their homecourt, in Firenze.

The opening match of the Scudetto Finals made justice to the fact that Imoco and Scandicci were the two best teams in the regular season, reuniting a number of international stars on the court and over 5,000 passionate fans in the stands.

Italian national team opposite Ekaterina Antropova was a key player in Scandicci’s road win, tallying a team-high 31 points (23 kills, five aces and three blocks) and taking home the match’s MVP award.

Outside hitters Zhu Ting and Britt Herbots offered great offensive support to Antropova, with the Chinese superstar producing 16 points (15 kills, one ace) and the Belgian scoring machine adding another 14, all in kills, including the game-winner.

“We know who we are playing against, this is the best team in the world, which had lost just one match in the entire season,” head coach Massimo Barbolini reflected. “I think the key today was knowing how to handle the difficult moments. I thought that serving played a major role in the first two sets and that we could have ended the match in the fourth set. At the start of the tie-breaker, it looked like it was over for us, but the players did a great job of staying in the game and taking advantage of the few errors they made.”

Imoco had the match’s top scorer in Swedish opposite Isabelle Haak, who registered an incredible 34 points (26 kills, five blocks, three aces), and also got double digits production in scoring from outside hitters Kathryn Plummer (15) and Kelsey Cook (12) and middle blocker Marian Lubian (13).

“It was a great match, tough and exciting, as we expected,” setter Joanna Wolosz said. “It’s a shame because despite making way too many errors to our standards, we still fought back and almost won it. The errors killed us today and we need to do better in the next matches.”

Lega Femminile - Match Schedule and Results

Match two on Saturday in Firenze

After the exciting opening match on Wednesday, the series now moves to Firenze on Saturday, at 20:30 local time (18:30 GMT), for match two and returns to Villorba on April 24 for match three. If needed, matches four and five will be played in Firenze on April 27 and in Villorba on April 30.

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Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A1 Tigotà
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