• The top two teams from the Italian national league will be playing an eagerly anticipated derby in Pool B – in what is the ‘Match of the Week’.
• Last Saturday CONEGLIANO and NOVARA locked horns in the national league as well with Imoco Volley coming from behind to claim a 3-2 away victory. Kimberly Hill top scored with 26 points as Samanta Fabris came in as a sub and contributed to the victory as well.
• After this away victory, Imoco Volley are leading the way in the national league (26 points), two clear of NOVARA.
• Imoco Volley will be missing Megan Easy – who is out for the rest of the season – and middle blocker Raphaela Folie, who is struggling with a foot injury.
• It is a special match for a number of players since the current setter of NOVARA, Katarzyna Skorupa, played for CONEGLIANO last year; former Imoco Volley’s players now wearing the shirt of NOVARA are Lauren Gibbemeyer, Letizia Camera and Anthi Vasilantonaki. Kimberly Hill, on the other hand, played for NOVARA three years ago and is now one of CONEGLIANO ‘Panthers’.
• Russian referee Andrey Zenovich will bid farewell to international Volleyball following this match.
Daniele Santarelli, head coach of Imoco Volley: “On Saturday we played a great game in Novara, coming from behind and fighting to the end. However, we know that NOVARA is a great team and they will come to Palaverde determined to get their revenge on Wednesday. We will have to play another big game, for sure better than we did on Saturday. Luckily in the Champions League we have no limits as to the number of foreign players on the court, so we are free to line up our best starting six, and we are ready to play another big game.”
Samanta Fabris, player of Imoco Volley: “We are a great group where each player gives her contribution when called up in the game. Last Saturday we showed our strength in Novara, but now we have to repeat ourselves also in the Champions League. We have to start the group stage as good as we can and we want to keep winning in the national league as well as on the international stage. It will not be easy, but with the help of our fans, I know that we can play another big game on Wednesday at home.”
Massimo Barbolini, head coach of Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA: “We have been working for our debut in the Champions League with a lot of enthusiasm and desire to start well, being aware that we will immediately face what is one of the two toughest matches in our group. We will face a team with whom we have already measured up twice in the Italian League and Italian Supercup this season. They are a team of the highest level, just like us, and with whom we have had many great battles already; we want to play just another one, head to head, even in the Champions League, knowing that we will have to give our best in every situation.”