Lega Volley Femminile A1 2023 - News.

Imoco 2903

After winning the first match against Roma in straight sets at home, Imoco will try to get another victory on the road (Photo: LVF)

The first semifinalists of the 2023-2024 Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A Tigotà could emerge as early as this weekend as the playoffs in Italy continue to progress with the second round of the quarterfinals on Saturday and Sunday.

After winning the first match of their best-of-three series on Wednesday, Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano, Savino Del Bene Scandicci, Allianz Vero Volley Milano and Reale Mutua Fenera Chieri can all secure their spots in the semifinals with another victory over the next two days.

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From the four potential semifinalists, Scandicci will be the first to get on the court this weekend as they will go on the road in Pesaro against Megabox Ondulati Savio Vallefoglia on Saturday at 15:30 local time (14:30 GMT).

Scandicci won the opening match of the series in four sets at home on Wednesday and need another triumph to advance to the semifinals of the Italian League for a sixth-straight season. Undefeated in their last six matches, the team has won the last three duels against Vallefoglia and has six triumphs in seven matches against their opponents over the years.

Chieri can advance at home

Of the four teams that have the ability to end their quarterfinal series this weekend, Chieri are the only ones who can do it at home, after they upset Igor Gorgonzola Novara in the tie-breaker on the road on Wednesday. The second encounter will be held on Saturday, at 20:30 local time (19:30 GMT).

The team, which knocked the same opponents out in the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia in January, could make their first semifinal appearance in the Italian League this season. The history between the teams, however, favors Novara, who won 11 out of the 17 duels between the sides.

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The quarterfinal series between Milano and Wash4Green Pinerolo had a very exciting start, with Milano winning 3-2 on the road. Another battle should take place when the teams meet again on Sunday, at 17:00 local time (16:00 GMT).

Looking for their fifth-straight semifinal appearance in the league, Milano are yet to lose to Pinerolo after the first five meetings between the teams.

"The first match showed that we can't let our level drop from now on," Milano's head coach Marco Gaspari reflected. "Pinerolo are very solid and organized and if we can't keep our consistency, we'll struggle. They won many matches at home this season and we'll need to be alert. The playoffs are a new tournament and you can't take anything for granted."

Defending champions Imoco had the most dominant victory in the opening leg of the quarterfinals, downing Roma Volley Club 3-0 in the Italian capital. Back at home in Villorba, the Panthers are looking for their sixth-straight Italian title – Imoco have never missed the semifinals since joining the league, in 2012-2013.

The only undefeated team in the Italian League this season with 27 victories, Imoco have triumphed in each of the three times they faced Roma and need another win to make it to the semifinals. The duel between the two will end the weekend schedule in Italy, starting at 20:30 local time (19:30 GMT), on Sunday.

"Even if we got a good win, the first match wasn't easy at all," Imoco's coach Daniele Santarelli remarked. "Roma are a very good team and I'm sure they will give us a lot of trouble at home - we had a very difficult match there during the regular season. The fans will push them and we'll need to be focused to handle the pressure. This is a match that can get really complicated if we don't start well. Ending the series in two matches would be very important for us as it would buy us some time to work before the semifinals."

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