The great feat of breaking the streak of ten consecutive victories fails in Florence, as it was last year when the Bisonte himself had stopped the gialloblù record at 76 consecutive victories.
Different match and game, in anticipation of the eleventh day of the championship, led to a very heated challenge on the taraflex where the Tuscans were able to give the Panthers a hard time. It’s hard to say whether Santarelli’s substitutions were a way to try out the line-up for Saturday, when there will be the Super Cup match, or a necessity dictated by the good game of Cambi and his teammates.
Yesterday evening a bouquet of flowers was brought to remember Sergio Guerrato, father of our colleague Marco, and a great Gialloblù fan, who passed away three days ago.
Compared to the match against Milan, Santarelli put Wolosz, Haak, Gray, Cook, Squarcini, Lubian, De Gennaro on the field. Florence instead sided with Cambi, Nwakalor, Knollema, Herbots, Alhassan, Graziani, Panetoni libero. The Prosecco Doc started quite decisively with Cook’s point from place 4 and some lifts from Wolosz on the second row to Gray and Haak. Florence started to build up putting pressure on the Gialloblù with plays by Knollema, who scored two consecutive points, and a first half by Alhassan (6-5), forcing them to play the ball several times before the finals.
De Gennaro on several occasions saved the unsalvable, and thanks to the 7 consecutive points of the Gialloblù the score opened on 18-11, to then leave the closure to the “usual” Haak. It was the blocks that stood out, 6 against the only one in the first set in the match against Milan. And when the Prosecco Doc blocks and hits well, it wins the set. Which didn’t happen in the second, where Alexa Gray continued to hammer well but came to terms with Knollema, the most unwanted guest for yellow-blue reception and defense. His are the two consecutive aces that gave the Tuscans a jolt. Gray’s double error in attack and a failed attack from the second row by Haak forced Santarelli to call time to turn on some light in the moment of blackout.
Florence, growing during the set, also brought home one of the longest actions of the match. To counteract the no moment Santarelli called Pericati and De Kruijf from the bench, later also joined by Gennari. “Aggressive”: this is the English mantra that the coach tried to impress on the minds of his players down 15 to 19. One mistake after another, 8 in the set, and some very effective rounds of batting by the Florentines (4) they resulted in losing the set. In the third, as a self-respecting tradition, the panthers started and finished with a thousand.
On the other hand, the beginning of the fourth set (0-4), far too complicated for the Gialloblù who managed to stay afloat thanks to Plummer coming on from the bench. 4 set points wasted before closing the match.
Now waiting for the Panthers will be the long-awaited Super Cup match against Novara on Saturday, the first match that will award a trophy this season. The Gialloblù will arrive at that day with one more match on their legs. Will the one on 26 November be the sixth trophy, the fifth in a row for the Gialloblù, or the second title for the Piedmontese?
But if good morning starts in the morning, and a volleyball match from the data collected in previous matches and from experience, there will certainly be fun at Palazzo Wanny.