The pandemic took its toll on the Italian men's league, cancelling four matches of Round 15 - but Sir Safety Conad Perugia were quick to take advantage and extend their lead in the standings with a solid 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-18) sweep of Verona Volley before almost 2,000 fans at the PalaBarton.
'Magic Oleh' sees Perugia extend lead in Italian men's league
Last season's runners-up end the year positively and convincingly as they seek leadership in 2022
Published 10:10, 30 Dec 2021
Ukraine's Oleh Plotnytskyi set the pace of the match when he fired off three thundering back-to-back aces in the first set and finsihed the game on a match high of 18 points - while Cuba-born Pole Wilfredo Leon added another 15 and the Netherlands' Thijs Ter Horst contributed 14. Sebastian Sole of Argentina had 5/5 attacks from the middle.
The win sees Perugia extend their lead over defending champions Cucine Lube Civitanova to nine points at the top of the standings - though they have played an extra match as Lube's own Round 15 scheduled match against Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza got postponed.
Also postponed were the Itas Trentino v Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia, Gioiella Prisma Taranto v Consar RCM Ravenna and Vero Volley Monza v Allianz Milan games of Round 15.
Trentino, however, did get midweek action, Thursday evening, in a Round 12 match that had been postoponed earlier this month.
Daniele Lavia and Bulgaria's Matey Kaziyski shared the match high of 15 points each (the latter grabbing the MVP of the match award) as Trentino shut out Allianz of Milan 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 28-26), saving two set points of their opponents in the third set.
As did Leo Shoes PerkinElmer Modena who powered to a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-21) win before 3,000 fans a the PalaPanini over Vero Volley Monza in a Round 14 match.
Nimir Abdel-Aziz of the Netherlands scored 26 points, including four aces, to get named MVP of the match as he led Modena in extending their winning streak to eight matches.
Lastly, Kioene Padova outlasted Top Volley Cisterna 3-2 (25-17, 22-25, 17-25, 37-35, 15-11) in the only other match of Round 14 played this week.
Cisterna blew as many as seven match points and missed the opportunity to take the game in four, as Padova fought back to claim their seventh win of the season and end a three-match losing streak.
Germany's Linus Weber with 23/38 for 61% in attack was the striking force for Padova, sharing the match high of 24 points with Cisterna's Petar Dirlic of Croatia.