Lega Volley Femminile A1 2023 - News.

Scandicci 3003

Scandicci players celebrate the road win that placed them in the semifinals (Photo: LVF)

Savino Del Bene Scandicci are the first team guaranteed in the semifinals of the 2023-2024 Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A Tigotà after they concluded their quarterfinal series against Megabox Ondulati Savio Vallefoglia with two wins to zero on Saturday.

The other series that had its second leg on Saturday is now tied after Igor Gorgonzola Novara recovered from a mid-week upset to beat Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri on the road, forcing a third and decisive duel between them on Wednesday.

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The second-best team in the regular season, Scandicci were dominant in their second-leg match against Vallefoglia, making great use of their homecourt advantage to produce a 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-17) victory in Pesaro and end the best-of-three series with two wins.

Set to make their sixth-straight appearance in the Italian League semifinals, Scandicci counted on 21 points (15 kills, three blocks, three aces) from opposite Ekaterina Antropova and 14 (ten kills, four blocks) from Chinese superstar Zhu Ting to win Saturday’s match – setter Maja Ognjenovic earned the match’s MVP award. Outside hitter Alice Degradi led Vallefoglia’s scoring efforts with 17 points (15 kills, two blocks).

“I think the key today was making very few errors as, if you look at the other stats, it was a very close match,” Scandicci’s coach Massimo Barbolini reflected. “We managed to stay calm at the end of the second set and managing to win it was big for us. The quarterfinals can always be tricky and I’m glad that we got to advance. Now we’ll get some rest and start working for the semifinals.”

Scandicci’s opponents in the semifinals will come from the duel between Allianz Vero Volley Milano and Wash4Green Pinerolo. Milano, who will be at home in the second leg of the series, on Sunday, at 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT), won the first duel between the teams in the tie-breaker on Wednesday and will advance with another victory.

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Novara level the series on the road

Facing the risk of elimination after dropping the opening match of the series at home on Wednesday, Novara regrouped and showed their strength with a solid 3-0 (25-22, 32-30, 25-21) road victory over Chieri that tied the series 1-1.

Mid-season signing Marina Markova came off the bench to lead Novara’s offense with a match-high 22 points (20 kills, two blocks) and take home the MVP award, but the team had solid contributions from multiple players as middle blocker Anna Danesi tallied 11 points and outside hitters Gréta Szakmáry and Caterina Bosetti added ten each. American outside hitter Avery Skinner fired 15 points for Chieri, two more than Belgian opposite Kaja Grobelna.

“Markova made the difference for us tonight,” Bosetti remarked. “We needed a player with her power to score in big moments and I’m happy for her because she arrived in a difficult moment of the season for us. Now let’s go for match three.”

Novara and Chieri will meet for a third and final time on Wednesday, looking to advance to play the winners of the quarterfinal series between Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano and Roma Volley Club, who will battle for the second time on Sunday, at 20:30 local time (19:30 GMT) – the defending champions won the first encounter in straight sets last Wednesday.

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