Earvin Ngapeth of France orchestrated an incredible away performance of Leo Shoes PerkinElmer Modena as they brought down Sir Safety Conad Perugia after five amazing sets to silence more than 2,300 fans at the PalaBarton with an incredible 3-2 (25-22, 25-12, 15-25, 22-25, 17-15) win that has created shockwaves in the Italian men's volleyball league in Round 8 of the Regular Season.
Modena hang on to serve Perugia with stunning first defeat in Italy league
Incredible and thrilling midweek action creates new situation at top of table
Published 11:34, 24 Nov 2021
After six wins on the trot, Perugia recovered from a two-set deficit to force a tie-break and salvage one point but suffered their first loss of the season - meaning there's now no team left undefeated in the league.
But it could have gone the other way when Cuba-born Pole Wilfredo Leon powered Perugia to a four-point run from 10-13 down in the tie-break to become first to reach match point at 14-13. But Modena held on to cancel both this and the next one at 15-14, before back-to-back kills by Ngapeth brought the match home for the visitors.
Ngapeth delivered 22 points, including four aces and three blocks, with Dutch teammate Nimir Abdel-Aziz close on his heels at 21 points - though the match high of 26 came from Leon, who was also the most efficient attacker of the game on 53% (21/40).
The result gives some leeway to defending champions Cucine Lube Civitanova, who dispatched bottom-of-the-table Consar RCM Ravenna 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-16) on the back of a match high 14 points (including five aces) by Puerto Rico's 22-year-old Gabi Garcia who was named MVP of the match.
This extends Lube's winning streak to seven matches and keeps them at the top of the standings - though they have played two matches more than their pursuers. Ravenna, meanwhile, are still searching for their first win after nine matches.
It also allowed Itas Trentino to climb to second place following their win on the road on Wednesday 3-1 (25-23, 25-27, 25-18, 25-19) over Gioiella Prisma Taranto.
Trentino could have made their life a bit easier had they capitalised on a set point at 25-24 in the second to go two up. But eventually Daniele Lavia came through to complete a match high of 22 points, including four blocks and 58% (18/31) in attack, with Alessandro Michieletto back in top form and picking up the MVP of the game award to lead Trentino to victory.
But Vero Volley Monza suffered a major setback as they fell at home to Kioene Padova 3-2 (25-23, 14-25, 25-17, 22-25, 15-12).
Germany's Linus Weber with 27 (including five aces and four blocks) and Mattia Bottolo with 23 kept the points coming in for Padova - the latter named MVP of the match - to counter the 22 points of Germany's Gyorgy Grozer and 21 of the Czech Republic's Donovan Dzavoronok for Monza.
A day earlier, however, Allianz of Milan and Top Volley Cisterna had set a new all-time Italian league duration record of 175 minutes - as visitors Cisterna outlasted the hosts 3-2 (32-34, 25-21, 31-33, 25-21, 15-13) - the third set extending to a whopping 48 minutes.
Cisterna were first at set point with two to spare at 24-22 in the first and missed out two more before Milan took the lead. And again in the third the visitors had six opportunites to go ahead before the hosts cancelled all of these set points.
When the final count was in, France's Jean Patry had collected 28 points and USA's Thomas Jaeschke had added another 24 for Milan - but libero Domenico Cavaccini was picking up everything in the back row and was named MVP of the match as his teammate Stephen Maar of Canada was scoring 20 points to lead Cisterna.
To wrap up the midweek action, Slovenia's Rok Mozic with a match high of 27 points led Verona Volley to a 3-1 (25-22, 25-22, 26-28, 26-24) win at home over Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia.
Verona could well have finished in three, but blew two match points at 24-22 followed by two more at 25-24 and 26-25 in the third.