Isabelle Haak a screamer, Conegliano doubles up

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Conegliano-Scandicci 3-1

Third episode of the “star wars” between Prosecco DOC Imoco Conegliano and Savino del Bene Scandicci engaged in a Scudetto final that is giving spectacle and emotions to Italian volleyball fans. Palaverde still packed for game 3 that sees coach Santarelli presenting the base sextet with Wolosz-Haak, Lubian-Fahr, Robinson Cook-Plummer, libero Moki De Gennaro. On the other side, the Tuscans line up Ognjenovic-Antropova, Carol-Alberti, Herbots-Zhu Ting, libero Parrocchiale from the start.

First set that confirms in the initial phase the great balance between the two formations, but after the first skirmishes è the home team to try the stretch thanks to a nice sequence inaugurated by Lubian’s ace, then Fahr’s wall and a nice reconstruction-point for Plummer that sends Conegliano ahead 11-8. Time out by Coach Barbolini. The Panthers can count on a wild Plummer in attack early in the match, then Bella Haak also comes into heat, freeing her arm in attack and serve. From an important series by the Swede comes another break also propitiated by Fahr’s walls (17-11), while Di Iulio, Diop and Alberti enter temporarily for Scandicci. Antropova re-enters and the Italian opposite triggers Savino’s comeback with two walls in a row that reopen the game, 19-17 and time out by coach Santarelli. The coach’s words revitalized the Panthers who defended everything and found the points of +4 (21-17) with Haak and a fast move by Fahr dppo De Gennaro’s save.

Antropova’s serves (6 points in the set) però as expected bring Scandicci closer again with Zhu Ting’s attack collaboration (23-22). The break of the guests continued until they tied at 23. On the first set ball Scandicci cancels with Washington, who took over in the final, then è the “usual” face-off battle to the advantages where Scandicci cancels two more before getting one with Herbots’ winning replay. A splendid Isabelle Haak (12 points and 3 walls in the set!) tied it at 27, then Fahr tied it at 28 in a throbbing finale. The Azzurri powerhouse ignites the Palaverde with the 29-28 wall, then Plummer (5 points in the set) blows it up with the 30-28 that awards the first set to Prosecco DOC Imoco.

Savino del Bene gets off to a good start in the second set, not at all fazed by the first set’s nail-biting denouement: 5-8. Prosecco DOC Imoco doesn’t flinch, two aces by Kat Plummer to tie right away, then it goes point to point with breathtaking actions that unleash open applause in an increasingly fiery Palaverde. It travels point to point in a battle atmosphere, the hosts try a mini escape with Haak (16-14), then on 19-17 always signed by the Swede (9 in the set) Antropova enters in bat and as in the first set starts the break of the Tuscan team that thanks to the venomous services of the blue (despite there is also Bardaro to guard the reception) manages to hook and overtake on 19-20 the Panthers. The final sprint is inaugurated by an’excellent Zhu Ting, precise in attack, and a couple of giallobl&ugrave errors also arrive: 20-23. Conegliano now has to chase, but La Savino does not give up the lead gained with a great final rush and closes 23-25 at the third attempt with a super Herbots (7 points in the set) after another heart-stopping finale.

The third set è still crackling: nice gialloblù start, 7-4 with captain Wolosz’s ace sounding the charge, first ace then Plummer corrects under the net and Scandicci time out. Prosecco DOC Imoco does not stop, Fahr raises the shutter, Plummer unblocked without a wall by Wolosz extends: 9-4 and the Palaverde lights up. Savino però is not intimidated and continues to play well, Antropova seals the -2 (9-7) and time out for coach Santarelli. Zhu and her teammates catch up, but comes a turn of the bat with the “boost” of Isabelle Haak, 2 aces and there’è the Tuscan time out on 14-11.

There’è Gennari, as always in the middle phase of the set, to lend a hand in the second line, but there’è little to be done about Antropova’s ace, always decisive at bat for -1. The final continues on a razor’s edge with the two teams offering cinematic exchanges, Prosecco DOC Imoco with the grit and drive of Palaverde advances to +3 (18-15), but Ognjenovic and her teammates do not give up. On 20-17, Bardaro enters, then Lubian prints 21-18 on the floor.  Antropova answers blow by blow and keeps the Tuscans alive, hers the 21-20 ace, but Haak is not to be outdone and scores for the new +2. The rhythms are hellish, Plummer by force seals the 24-22, Antropova (11 points, 2 aces and 72% in the set!) cancels the first set point, Ognjenovic the second, but again an outstanding Kat Plummer (8 points and a fantastic 80% in attack in the set) sends Conegliano ahead 25-24. Savino equalizes, it takes an Asia Wolosz number to send Fahr to the 26-25 conclusion, Ognjenovic retorts for Carol. All to go again. In the pandemonium of the Palaverde, the suffering continues, Bella Haak (11 points, 2 aces, 1 wall and 61% in the set) unhinges the wall, then newcomer Ruddins makes a mistake and è 29-27, Panthers ahead 2-1.

Fourth set and again a Kathryn Plummer “extra deluxe” hammers to the delight of the Palaverde crowd, then Marina Lubian’s ace: 6-3 and coach Barbolini interrupts the game to leave no room for Prosecco DOC Imoco to escape. Zhu Ting tries to shake things up, but the Californian è “on fire” and Wolosz stuffs her with balls, then Moki De Gennaro dà show in defense and è 9-5. With determination and without making mistakes, coach Santarelli’s team pushes launched by the defenses of leader Moki De Gennaro and Kelsey Robinson Cook (13-9), Savino però also makes little or no mistakes and keeps their breath on the Panthers’ necks, good at keeping order and concentration. The +4 (17-13) è by Plummer after another great team defense.

Isabelle Haak confirms herself extraordinary in attack (41 points at the end! MVP) , then comes one of the rare errors of the Tuscans and there’è another break on 18-13. Captain Wolosz relies on the sure arm of her irrepressible Swedish opposing player who scores again and again, like a thoroughbred bomber: 21-15 and Scandicci è on the verge of giving up despite Coach Barbolini’s pinwheel of changes. The crowd pushes the Panthers who don’t tremble, Lubian (11 points) seals the 22-16, but there is the bogeyman-Antropova (26 points) at bat and the gap is shortened (22-18), providential Wolosz’s wall that brings Prosecco DOC Imoco closer to the final banner. Scandicci tries again until the end, goes back up to -3 (23-20), but first Plummer (23 points, 56% in attack) and then make Palaverde explode for the great success that launches 2-1 in the final series the team of coach Santarelli, good at taming the warrior spirit of a never tamed Scandicci that goes out together with the Panthers among the applause of the audience that enjoyed an exceptional show in a final that confirms itself exceptional.

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