Super Lega 2021 - News

Nimir Abdel-Aziz

Leo Shoes PerkinElmer Modena bounced back from last weekend’s shocking home loss to Top Volley Cisterna with a three-point victory over defending champions Cucine Lube Civitanova in this weekend’s only SuperLega Credem Banca fixture, putting a stop to Lube’s winning streak of eight consecutive victories in the competition.

Modena’s Dutch opposite Nimir Abdel-Aziz was the main driving force on the way to a 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 25-20) victory on Saturday night at the PalaPanini. He produced 16 spiking points at a success rate of 52% in attack, two stuff blocks and a serving ace to top the scorers’ chart with 19 points and earn the MVP recognition. His Brazilian teammate, outside Yoandy Leal, scored 16 points, including a couple of blocks, while French star Earvin Ngapeth also reached the double digits by hitting 12 kills towards the solid victory.

“We knew it wasn’t us who lost to Cisterna. During the week we talked about it and wanted to give a strong response. This victory gives us confidence that we can play as evens against all the big teams.” Nimir Abdel-Aziz, opposite of Leo Shoes PerkinElmer Modena

Despite losing their young Cuban rising star Marlon Yant to an ankle injury during set two, Lube managed to win the set and level the score, but then continued making far too many unforced errors in the next two to leave the arena without any points for the ranking. The other Cuban star on their squad, experienced middle blocker Robertlandy Simon, was able to reach 63% success in attack, spiking 10 points, in addition to his four kill blocks and an ace, for a match total of 15 points. Brazilian outside Ricardo Lucarelli tallied 16, including three blocks and an ace. Puerto Rican opposite Gabriel Garcia, who came in to replace Ivan Zaytsev after the latter changed positions to take Yant’s spot, also showed a good game. Inspired by his recent two-year contract renewal with the club, he delivered two aces, a block and 11 kills to total 14 points in the match.

“Games like this can happen. We must immediately look forward to find the right physical and mental energies in view of next Tuesday's Champions League match. Since the start of the season we have had to face difficulties, such as injuries, but this is also part of volleyball. The worst thing we could do right now is feel sorry for ourselves... We must stay focused on the good things we have done and improve...” Robertlandy Simon, middle blocker of Cucine Lube Civitanova

This result did not bring about any movements in the SuperLega standings. Sir Safety Conad Perugia are on top of the table on a 20-2 win-loss record and 61 points. Lube (17-4) and Itas Trentino Trento (16-6) are next on 51 points each. Modena are fourth on 16-5 and 45, now eight points clear of fifth-placed Allianz Milan (12-9). These five teams, along with Vero Volley Monza and Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza, have already secured their spots in the quarterfinal playoffs, while the last remaining vacancy is still up for grabs.

The SuperLega programme continues with two midweek fixtures. Modena are set to welcome Consar RCM Ravenna on Wednesday. On Thursday, Verona Volley travel to Piacenza in search of a win that would bring them closer to the playoffs.

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