Super Lega 2022 - News

Modena Piacenza 0704

Piacenza are one win away from completing a big comeback against recently-crowned CEV Cup champions Modena

After three weeks of intense competition and exciting battles, the quarterfinals of the 2022-2023 SuperLega Credem Banca will come to an end over the next few days, with three teams emerging as the winners of their best-of-five series and joining Itas Trentino in the semifinals of the Italian League.

With three series currently tied at 2-2, this weekend’s matches will determine the winners of these duels. Cucine Lube Civitanova and WithU Verona will be first to decide their fates, playing each other for the fifth time on Saturday, at 18:00 local time (16:00 UTC), in Civitanova Marche.

The other two duels will both be decided on Monday, at 18:00 local time (16:00 UTC), when Valsa Group Modena host Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza and Sir Safety Susa Perugia play at home against Allianz Milano.

· Watch all SuperLega Credem Banca matches live or on demand on VBTV.

Defending champions Lube completed the first two steps of what could be a fantastic comeback, beating Verona in back-to-back matches after dropping the first two duels of the series to level the playing field ahead of this weekend’s match five, when they will be back at home. Lube expect a sold-out crowd at the Eurosuole Forum and are determined to maintain the same mentality that helped them avoid elimination to bring the series to an end.

“We cannot make the mistake of feeling comfortable because we won the last two matches,” outside hitter Mattia Bottolo commented. “We need to continue on the same path and approach this decisive match without any distractions. Verona counted on great support from their fans when they were at home and I’m sure our fans will do the same for this match.”

For Verona, after wasting consecutive opportunities of winning the series over the last two weeks, the goal is to regroup and get back to the form of the first two matches.

“We were aware of Lube’s strength, but in these two matches, they really showed how good they are,” head coach Radostin Stoychev commented. “But we’ll get back on the court and fight for that final match. Lube have some really strong hitters and they made a difference in the last two matches. I feel like we have to improve our passing, but also to be ready to deal with some situations we’ve been struggling with.”

Also trying to win the series after being down 2-0, reigning Coppa Italia champions Piacenza are in great form after sweeping Modena in the last two duels between the teams. To advance, they will need to overcome their opponents on the road again, repeating what they did two weeks ago.

“We’re very strong from a mental standpoint now,” outside hitter Yoandy Leal remarked. “Physically, we’re a little bit tired, but in matches like this, the mentality is what counts the most. Winning in Modena is never easy and we’ll try to do it again – we’ll need to give our 150% to make it happen. Even though I don’t think we played badly in the first two matches of the series, I feel like we’re a stronger team now.”

After failing to take a single set from Piacenza in the last two matches, Modena received a confidence booster this week as they were able to come back in their series against Belgium’s Knack Roeselare to secure their fourth CEV Cup title in front of their fans on Wednesday.

“We’ve had some ups and downs during the season and this title is a reward for our hard work,” star outside hitter Earvin Ngapeth said after Wednesday’s victory. “It will have a big positive impact on our confidence ahead of Monday’s match. We know it’s not going to be easy, but this victory was really important for us to approach the match against Piacenza with more confidence.”

Perugia, on the other hand, will enter the final match of their series with Milano just a few days after their campaign at the CEV Champions League ended, following their loss to defending champions Grupa Azoty 'Zaksa' Kędzierzyn-Koźle of Poland in the semifinals on Thursday.

“We're very disappointed that we didn't play well,” star setter Simone Giannelli reflected. “Zaksa were better than us in both matches and deserved to advance. Now we focus on the quarterfinals of the SuperLega.”

Perugia Milano 0704

Milano are not satisfied with two victories over Perugia and will go for another one on Monday

Milano’s two victories in the series were seen by many as a big surprise already, but the eighth-placed team in the Italian League regular season believe they can still upset the world champions one more time, get another win and move to the semifinals.

“We’ll need to be very patient,” French opposite Jean Patry highlighted. “When they have good moments, they’re really good and we need to understand that and look at our side of the game and try to find the strength to start over again. We need to be patient when the sets aren’t perfect and try to find solutions.”