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Conegliano are ready to fight for their fourth-straight Italian title

Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano are set to return to the final of the Lega Pallavolo vivo Serie A1 Femminile for a fourth-straight season after the defending champions brought their semifinal series against Savino Del Bene Scandicci to an end this weekend.

The reigning European champions still don’t know who their next opponents will be after Vero Volley Monza tied their series against Igor Gorgonzola Novara, who played Conegliano in the last three finals, and forced a third and decisive match to determine who advances to the final.

Novara will host the third and last match of their best-of-three semifinal series against Monza on Wednesday, at 20.30 local time.

Watch all matches of the Italian League live or on demand on Volleyball TV.

Undefeated in their last ten Lega matches, Conegliano advanced to their sixth final in nine seasons competing in the Italian League with a second victory over Scandicci in four days. The reigning European champions dropped the first set to the CEV Challenge Cup winners, but bounced back to win 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-11, 25-21) on the road and end the series.

Savino Del Bene Scandicci v Imoco Volley Conegliano - Match Highlights

Star opposite Paola Egonu had one of her best performances in the entire season and left the court with 36 points to her name and the MVP award. The 23-year-old Italian had 29 kills, four blocks and three aces and an excellent 64% efficiency rate in offence.

“It was very important for us to end the series today as we have more time to rest and prepare for the final and hopefully we can play even better,” she said. “I am very proud of the team and looking forward to seeing the fans again in the final.”

Dutch middle blocker Robin de Kruijf was also prolific in offence, hitting at a 67% success rate. She ended the match with ten points scored with six kills, three blocks and one ace. Outside hitters Miriam Sylla and Kathryn Plummer registered nine points each.

On Scandicci’s side, Russia opposite Ekaterina Antropova carried the team’s offence with 22 points (18 kills, two blocks, two aces). Middle blocker Marina Lubian was the only player to reach double digits in scoring with ten points (six kills, two blocks, two aces).

Unlike Conegliano, Monza relied on a diversified offence to top Novara in straight sets (29-27, 25-17, 26-24). The team coached by Marco Gaspari had five players scoring between eight and 12 points in front of over 4,000 fans at the sold out arena.

Vero Volley Monza v Igor Gorgonzola Novara - Match Highlights

The most prolific was Polish opposite Magdalena Stysiak, who came off the bench to lead the team with 12 points (11 kills, one block). Tokyo Olympic champion Jordan Larson received the MVP award after she produced 11 points (ten kills, one block) and a 75% efficiency rate in serve-receive.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere for us to play,” said Larson, who was also the MVP of the Tokyo Olympics. “I’m really proud of our team for coming back stronger after a tough loss. We have one more in us and I can’t wait to get back out there. Novara are obviously a great team, but so are we, so if we can stay steady and consistent, we can win again.”

Outside hitter Alessia Gennari, with ten points (nine kills, one ace), and middle blockers Dana Rettke and Anna Danesi, with nine and eight respectively, also made important contributions to Monza’s victory.

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Alessia Orro's strategy of using all of her hitters paid off for Monza

Novara’s opposite Ebrar Karakurt was the top scorer of the match with 18 points (all in kills) but her production alone wasn’t enough to help the team clinch a spot in the final in the second match of the series.