Super Lega 2022 - News

Trentino Piacenza 1204

Trentino have lost to Piacenza three times already this season

The emotions are still high after the end of the dramatic SuperLega Credem Banca quarterfinals on Monday, but the four teams that remain in contention for the Italian League title need to be ready for the next battles as the semifinals are set to begin on Thursday.

The two best-of-five series start simultaneously at 20:30 local time (18:30 UTC), with 2022 FIVB Men’s Club World Championship silver medallists Itas Trentino hosting Coppa Italia winners Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza and defending champions Cucine Lube Civitanova playing at home against SuperLega sensations Allianz Milano.

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

Of the four semifinalists, Trentino were the ones to have the most time to prepare for the next round of the Italian League. They won their quarterfinal series against Vero Volley Monza 3-1 on April 2 and had 11 days to rest and make adjustments ahead of the semifinals.

Their next opponents Piacenza, however, have been a thorn in their side in the 2022-2023 season so far, having won the two SuperLega encounters between the teams and also the Coppa Italia gold medal match.

“Finishing our series against Monza in four matches has offered us the opportunity to work without having matches to worry about,” outside hitter Donovan Džavoronok commented. “We tried to make the most of it and are ready to start a new series. We haven’t been able to beat Piacenza yet this season, but hopefully things will change now. Dealing with their serves better would be a great starting point for us.”

Besides the favorable retrospect against Trentino, Piacenza also bring their excellent momentum to the semifinals. The team had its back against the wall twice in their quarterfinal series against Valsa Group Modena, first trailing the series 2-0 and then being two sets down on match five, and responded well on both occasions, coming out on top and making it to the semifinals for the first time in club history.

“It will be a very difficult series,” libero Leonardo Scanferla analysed. “We'll start the series on the road, against a team that had more time to rest than we did, but anything can happen. We've faced Trentino three times this season, we know their strengths and weaknesses well and one of the keys will be creating problems with our service.”

Defending champions Lube enter their series against Milano with similar confidence as they were also behind WithU Verona 2-0 before turning things around and winning it 3-2 to return to the SuperLega semifinals for a seventh-straight season.

“After completing this incredible comeback, a new tournament begins for us now,” said middle blocker Barthélémy Chinenyeze. “And we want to go as far as possible. Having the fans on our side on the first match will be really good, the atmosphere in the final match against Verona was fantastic.”

There will be no shortage of confidence on Milano’s side either as the team, which ended the regular season in eighth place, stunned world champions Sir Safety Perugia, who went undefeated in the opening round with 22 wins, and fought to win the series 3-2 and make it to the semifinals for the first time.

“We wanted to compete in the semifinals but we weren’t playing well in some moments of the season and the goal seemed very difficult to achieve,” middle blocker Agustin Loser reflected. “We wanted to finish higher than eighth place in order to avoid playing Perugia, but now we beat them and we have the confidence and the stability to keep going and make it to the final.”

The second leg of the semifinals will be played on Sunday, April 16, with the third encounters set to take place on Wednesday, April 19.