A few hours after the important appointment with the quarter-finals of Del Monte Coppa Italia, coach Stoytchev and captain Raphael took part, presenting the challenge that WithU Verona will face against Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza at 20.30 at the Pala AGSM AIM extension.

These are the words of the Gialloblù coach: “We met Piacenza a few days ago, we know exactly the quality of this team, we have had the proof of it on our skin. Now a different race awaits us both from the first and from the second. We had prepared well last game and the finished sets prove it. We have to be more lucid, do our thing well, take advantage of all the opportunities that a great team like Piacenza gives us. We have to enter the field highly motivated and with a clear mind but with quality of play, erasing what happened in Trento”.

Then he continued: “When you win you don’t always have to be perfect afterwards. Trento has never allowed us to start playing, but has shown us where our limits are. We were mentally and tactically ready but we couldn’t get into the game. This is thanks to Trento who played the best match this year. It’s only been two days and I will remember this race for the rest of my life, but now we have another very important one. The true strength of athletes is seen in times of difficulty. It is not trivial to say that the championship is so balanced that unexpected things happen every week. Piacenza has players who allow us to have very high ambitions, but that doesn’t mean we’re already defeated. It’s all to be seen tomorrow. Their absences? I never look at what happens to other teams. As I said, I’m sorry for Lucarelli in a human sense, I wish him a speedy recovery, but Piacenza has the players to replace him. Our focus shouldn’t be on who plays or not, we have to take care of our mental and technical approach, then we’ll see who will take the field.”

Finally, he said: “Everyone tries to hit full arm because, if they don’t find the direct point to serve, then it’s difficult to play against us. The problem is that we have difficulty in reception, it’s part of volleyball but also part of our job. It’s a process, which doesn’t only concern Keita, but also Mozic, Gaggini, everyone has struggled to counter their jokes. I’m calm, because I understand what happens during the game. Nonetheless, a solution must be found. We don’t have the experience yet, except Raphael. Such players as Mosca, Keita, Mozic, Gaggini, Sapozhkov are playing matches of this kind for the first time. When these things happen, we need to analyze what happened and try not to repeat the same mistakes”.

Subsequently, Captain Raphael took the floor: “Matches like the one in Trento are difficult for us players to digest. We always enter the field with the desire to win, but we know that sometimes these things can happen, they are experiences from which we must learn. At the end of the race, I said that we should have used this defeat as fuel. Then having the opportunity to play in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia, with the possibility of hitting an important goal, after having made such a good first leg, is a motivation for us. We are working hard, we have to learn from our mistakes, have the right thoughts and know that we can improve. Plus, we have our fans who always play with us.”

Afterwards, the Brazilian setter continued: “It’s important to be able to get back on the pitch right away, but with a lot of awareness and patience. We worked a lot in the short time after Monday’s game to remind ourselves who we are, where we want to go and where we can improve. It’s a lesson to know how to live these moments and think coldly, without haste but with the desire to redeem yourself and win. As we gain more and more experience, we understand that there are things to work on after these defeats. It’s a burning defeat, because we’re in a phase of team growth and also because there were so many of our fans following, so I’m sorry for them. Spirit? We talk very often; we exchange many ideas and tactics. We have a daily discussion to understand where to go to improve”.