THE TWO CHALLENGES-
BOD TALMASSONS – ITAS TRENTINO-
A terrific comeback opens the doors to the Women’s Serie A2 Promotional Playoff Finals at Itas Trentino. Losing two sets to zero on the Latisana parquet, the Gialloblù sextet is finding the physical and mental energy to react and rediscover the brilliance needed to extend the challenge through to the tie-break and in the hard-fought final of the fifth set to find the winning blitz. After more than two hours of play, Itas archives the resistance of the Talmassons board and repeats last Sunday’s success at the BLM Group Arena, taking the playoff finals pass ahead of time without resorting to Game 3. Crucial to the profitability of the Gialloblù success were the 41 points of the DeHoog-Michieletto pairing, but also Joly’s excellent punching power (taken over by Mason) and Itas’ fewer mistakes compared to the board (23 against 41). Talmassons reach the excellent performances of Caneva and Milana.
The two technicians confirm the same arrangements that they saw working in Trento. Saja relies on Bonelli to dribble, DeHoog opposite, Mason and Francesca Michieletto Spiker, Moretto and Fondriest in the middle and Parlangeli Libero, while Barbieri responds with Eze Blessing setter, Taborelli opposite, Milana and Rossetto in the band, Caneva and Costantini on place 3, De Nardi free.
Uphill first set for Itas Trentino, contracted mainly in reception and undergoing service from the home team (6-4, ace by Eze). Rossetto gives the Landlords +3 (9-6), the margin increases as Milana finds the ace from 10-6. Fondriest tries to play in Trentino’s midfield but it’s the board who keep the ball in play despite the two time-outs (19-13) requested by Saja. Joly’s entry shakes Itas, who powerfully raises his head on Bonelli’s serve and reaches -1 (23-22) with Moretto protagonist in the block. However, the finale smiles at the Friulians, who close the set with Milana’s diagonal (25:22).
Unlike a particularly brilliant Brett from the nine-yard line, Itas struggles to score on serve. Bonelli clings to Michieletto to stay in Talmasson’s wake (11-11) but Mason’s error gives the home side the break (15-13). Saja relaunches Joly, Itas jumps with the usual poisonous twist on Michieletto’s serve (20-21) but it’s just a flash in the pan as Milana takes the chair in the final second set to lead Talmassons to 25-22, well assisted by Eze Blessing ( Ace) and Caneva (attack).
Saja confirms Joly in 4th place, the board tries to extend with Taborelli’s block and an excellent play in the center (8-6), but an untamed Michieletto keeps the Gialloblù in contention (11-11). Moretto’s block (13-16) sees the Trentino overtaking, in the central phase of the set Joly takes the lead and gives Itas three almost consecutive points that send Saja’s sextet to 14-19. Caneva tries to close the gap on serve (17-20), but ideas from Joly and Michieletto see the match extended into the fourth set (19-25).
Many mistakes characterize the first part of the fourth fraction, in which the board initially expands thanks to the attack of Taborelli and the ace of Rossetto (10-7). Costantini also hits from the nine-meter line (13-8), Itas doesn’t give up, approaches with Michieletto’s ace (14-12) and gets the Friulians back with tight blocks from Michieletto and DeHoog (17-17). The rotation with Joly in service sends CDA’s rallies into a tailspin (17-19), Trento goes up to +3 (19-22) but is grabbed by Talmassons (22-22). DeHoog chases the ghosts away, Fondriest uses a long reception for 22-24 and repeats with the smash from 22-25.
Tiebreak that starts with Caneva (4-2), Itas responds with Moretto’s block (4-5) but Milana gives the Friulians the new +2 (8-6). Moretto’s serve sends the home reception into a crisis, Itas Trentino reaches 10-12 but Talmassons is absent and finds the new draw with Taborelli (14-14). We move to the advantages where Trento celebrates as he latches on to DeHoog’s wall and Milana’s failure to break the pass for the final (17-19).
Stefano Saja (Coach Itas Trentino)- « I’m happy to have reached the final. We played a game that wasn’t perfect technically and tactically, but when we had to show our hearts, this team lived up to expectations. We were able to stay in the game against an excellent Talmassons at the moment of greatest difficulty, make up two sets and win an exciting tie-break. I have to say very well to all my players, I think this final is the icing on the cake of an extraordinary journey that started in October and continued with great attitude ».
Leonardo Barbieri (CDA Talmasson) – « We hit well for two sets, we were accurate. We got Mason in trouble at the front desk, then there was the switch with Joly. From then on, the game changed. Trento had a lot off the bench, more attention and better defence. In the continuation of the game we could no longer play with the clarity of the first two sets. We also lacked a bit of physicality. Unfortunately, we still don’t have the necessary experience to handle complicated situations, which Trento managed in the best possible way ».
BOD TALMASSONS – ITAS TRENTINO 2-3 (25-22 25-22 19-25 22-25 17-19)
TALMASSON’S BODY: Taborelli 19, Rossetto 9, Costantini 12, Eze Blessing 7, Milana 20, Caneva 16, De Nardi (L), Trampus 1, Crisafulli. Do not enter: Michelini, Monaco (L), Tognini, Campagnolo. Herd barbers.
ITAS TRENTINO: Mason 1, Moretto 6, Dehoog 20, Michieletto 21, Fondriest 9, Bonelli 6, Parlangeli (L), Joly 9, Meli. Do not enter: Stocco, Michieletto, Libardi (L), Bisio, Serafini. All Saja.
ARBITRATOR: Mesiano, Proietti.
NOTES – Set Duration: 29′, 29′, 31′, 34′, 30′; Total: 153′.
MVP: Francesca Michieletto (Itas Trentino)
VALSABBINA MILLENIUM BRESCIA – OMAG-MT SAN GIOVANNI IN M.NO-
Win or go home. Valsabbina Millenium Brescia has just one result to extend play-off semi-final series. After losing Game 1 to Omag-Mt. San Giovanni in Marignano, the Lionesses try to postpone the verdict for access to the final of promotion to the decisive game 3 in a PalaGeorge crowded for the occasion. For both technicians there were no changes in the line-up compared to the race that took place last Sunday in Riccione’s Playhall.
Coach Beltrami’s girls immediately gain a three-length lead, which Torcolacci and Cvetnic carry on in attack. The Romagna players return with Bolzonetti’s attack and Perovic’s ace, but Brescia still cautiously extends in defense and the usual Torcolacci blocks (12-9). Valsabbina attempts the decisive escape, Consoli burns and scores with three fasts, then Obossa’s winning attack from the second line takes the score up to 22-15. Rachkovska stops Giallonero’s break, then Boldini with a second intention touch and Pamio’s diagonal offer Millenium an opportunity to win the opener. Torcolacci takes care of closing the partial with the first half.
When play restarts, Barbolini’s formation changes, centered on Salvatori for Babatunde. Scognamillo and teammates fly on the wings of enthusiasm and lead 5-2, protagonists of the break Obossa and Torcolacci. The guests sign the counter pass with his central players (7-8): Parini scores the winning lob, then Salvatori places two blocks. Brescia responded with the same coin: Consoli’s monster block, followed by Torcolacci, who also landed the winning ball (13-11). Cvetnic and Obossa respond to Perovic’s comeback attempt. Torcolacci raises the wall, allowing Millenium to increase its advantage to +6 (21-15). Omag tries to shorten but it’s still number 8 to snuff out Romagna’s hopes with another block in their run and fast center (23-17). After a spectacular change, Pamio smashes the diagonal, which is worth the set ball, to the ground, then Obossa takes care of the point that gives the lionesses the 2-0.
Valsabbina even tries to take off at the start of the third set with a super scognamillo in defense followed by the winning attacks from Cvetnic and Obossa. Omag Mt returns but the Yellow-Blacks hold a six-point break pulled by a fiery Pamio in attack (13-7). Millenium flies 17-10 with Obossa’s block while Barbolini fields Covino for Perovic and the new signing stops the breakaway. Obossa roars and fixes the score at 20-14 with two Super Attacks. Consoli scores another quick shot, then Parini places the block and takes a 23-16 lead. Cvetnic from the second row drags his teammates to the match point and the match ends with an attacking error from Marignano.
The Lionesses achieve an important victory and postpone the judgment of the play-off semi-finals to game 3, which will be played on Sunday April 30th at the Riccione Playhall.
Race 2 MVP is Alice Torcolacci. Central Brescia put on a monstrous performance, finishing the game with 13 points, including 5 blocks, and 73% in attack.
Alice Torcolacci (Valsabbina Brescia) – «We were very good, we played good volleyball. Last Sunday we couldn’t express ourselves very well, but everything was easier at home. We defended and blocked well, we were a team. We see the goal and want to conquer it together. I expected such a reaction, in fact we did a great job tonight that we will take with us on Sunday as well ».
VALSABBINA MILLENIUM BRESCIA – OMAG-MT SAN GIOVANNI IN M.NO 3-0 (25-19 25-17 25-16)
VALSABBINA MILLENIUM BRESCIA: Cvetnic 9, Consoli 12, Boldini 1, Pamio 7, Torcolacci 13, Obossa 12, Scognamillo (L), Ratti, Munarini. Do not enter: Orlandi, Foresi, Blasi (L), Zorzetto. Herd Beltrami.
OMAG-MT SAN GIOVANNI IN M.NO: Rachkovska 7, Babatunde 1, Turco, Bolzonetti 8, Parini 4, Covino 1, Caforio (L), Perovic 8, Salvatori 3, Aluigi. Do not enter: Biagini (L), Saguatti, Cangini. Herd Barbolini.
ARBITRATORS: Cecconato, Selmi.
NOTES – Set Duration: 26′, 24′, 24′; Total: 74′.
MVP: Alice Torcolacci (Valsabbina Brescia)