Lega Volley Femminile A1 2023 - News.

Igor Gorgonzola’s Anna Danesi challenges Chieri’s playmaker Ofelia Malinov over the net (source: legavolleyfemminilie.it)

Igor Gorgonzola’s Anna Danesi challenges Chieri’s playmaker Ofelia Malinov over the net

The most anticipated part of the Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A Tigota season is about to get underway in Italy. The women’s playoffs start on Wednesday with the four first-leg matches of the quarterfinals. The playoff race for the national volleyball title is on, with Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano against Aeroitalia Smi Roma Rome, Savino Del Bene Scandicci against Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia, Allianz Vero Volley Milan against Wash4Green Pinerolo, and Igor Gorgonzola Novara against Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri in the hard-to-predict battles for the spots in the semifinals.

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Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano v Aeroitalia Smi Roma Rome

Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano and Aeroitalia Smi Roma Rome will be the first to open the curtain to the playoffs with their first game starting at 19:30 local time (18:30 UTC). In theory, the duel between the first and the eighth of the final regular season standings should be an easy call. Indeed, defending champions Imoco have not lost a single game since the start of the season (in any competition) and topped Lega’s regular season table on 75 points in 26 matches. However, Roma, who finished eighth on 37 points and a 12-14 win-loss record, will certainly be eager to leave a good impression at their first-time appearance in the playoffs. Imoco have won all four of their previous encounters with Roma, but in the most recent one in January, the Panthers had to come back from a set down twice during their visit to the Italian capital before winning the tie-breaker.

Roma vs. Conegliano | Highlights | LVF A1 | 4a Giornata - Ritorno

Savino Del Bene Scandicci v Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia

Second-placed Savino Del Bene Scandicci (63, 22-4) will welcome seventh-placed Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia (37, 12-14) for the first match of their quarterfinal playoff on Wednesday at 20:30 (19:30). This is another series, in which one of the teams may be considered the heavy favourite, but the other will not accept that easily and go down without a fight. Savino Del Bene lead the all-time head-to-head against Megabox by 5-1, but the last time the two clubs met in February, the hosts from Vallefoglia took a 2-0 lead before allowing the mighty opponent a 3-2 comeback. Megabox qualified for the playoffs for the first time in history and that should be an extra source of motivation to leave a mark.

“This second place (in the regular season) is fundamental, as we also saw last year. We don't have a lot of time to recover and prepare for the playoffs, but we will take advantage of the time we have available.” Isabella Di Iulio, captain of Savino Del Bene Scandicci
“It's been a complicated season and we absolutely wanted to qualify for the playoffs. We wanted it for ourselves, for the club and for everyone close to us. We fought and after every mistake we united and pushed again.” Alice Degradi, outside hitter of Megabox Ondulati Del Savio Vallefoglia

Vallefoglia vs. Scandicci | Highlights | LVF A1 | 7a Giornata - Ritorno

Allianz Vero Volley Milan v Wash4Green Pinerolo

Also starting at 20:30 (19:30) on Wednesday, heavy-duty Allianz Vero Volley Milan, third in the regular season on 60 and 21-5, will host sixth-placed Wash4Green Pinerolo (37, 12-14) in another encounter that may seem like a duel between David and Goliath. Only in their second season in Italy’s top division, Wash4Green have already achieved a historic success by qualifying to the playoffs. It may seem like a mission already accomplished, but even against Paola Egonu and her teammates the team from Pinerolo should not take the playoffs as a mission impossible. They have not won any of the previous four matches with Vero Volley, but also pushed their mighty opponents to five the last time they met about a month ago. They had the lead in that game after the first and the third sets before the visitors from Milan could turn it around to a 3-2 victory.

Pinerolo vs. Milano | Highlights | LVF A1 | 8a Giornata - Ritorno

Igor Gorgonzola Novara v Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri

In the toughest quarterfinal to call, fourth-placed Igor Gorgonzola Novara (56, 19-7) will entertain fifth-placed Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri (48, 15-11) in another 20:30 (19:30) fixture on Wednesday. Both teams have already achieved important success on continental level this season, snatching Europe’s Challenge Cup and CEV Cup trophies, respectively, and will now try to gain more accolades as they join the domestic playoff race. Igor Gorgonzola have won 12 of the previous 17 meetings with Chieri, including the two regular season encounters. However, when they last met, Reale Mutua Fenera produced a four-set away win over their opponents in Novara in a Coppa Italia quarterfinal some two months ago.

“Here comes the best part! A very tough challenge against Chieri awaits us with the aim of avenging the elimination from Coppa Italia and reaching the Lega semifinals.” Giulia De Nardi, libero of Igor Gorgonzola Novara
“I'm very happy with the season. It wasn't a given to get where we are. And now in the play-offs, we can get some more satisfaction.” Ofelia Malinov, setter of Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri