Dirlic2

Dirlic will be up against Trentino's strong block for the second time this season

This weekend’s SuperLega Credem Banca matches will feature an intriguing duel between the Italian League’s leading scorer and its best blocker when Top Volley Cisterna take on Itas Trentino at 20:30 local time (19:30 UTC) on Sunday.

Cisterna’s Croatian opposite Petar Dirlic has been the top offensive player in the league so far, leading the SuperLega’s points and kills rankings, but he will be challenged by Trentino’s Serbian middle blocker Srecko Lisinac, who has blocked successfully more than any other player in Italy this season so far.

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The 25-year-old Dirlic is currently in his third and most successful season in the SuperLega. The 2.05m-tall hitter joined Cisterna ahead of the 2021-2022 season, coming from Vibo Valentia, and has found his best game in 2022-2023 as he leads the league in points with 270, six more than Valsa Group Modena’s opposite Adis Lagumdzija and eight ahead of WithU Verona’s opposite Maksim Sapozhkov.

Top Scorer - Petar Dirlic of CIS VS. MIL

Dirlic, who scored a season-high 30 points just under a month ago against Allianz Milano, is also the player with the most points scored in kills (236). He’s ahead of Gioiella Prisma Taranto’s opposite Tommaso Stefani (229) and Lagumdzija (226) in that category.

This weekend’s match, however, could be one of the most challenging for the Croatian as he will take on the top blocker in the entire league. Lisinac has tallied 36 stuffs so far, and his compatriot and teammate Marko Podrascanin has produced 32 blocks (the third highest number in the league).

When the teams met in the first half of the regular season, Dirlic put in a good performance, despite Trentino’s 3-2 victory. He left the court with 27 points and Podrascanin and Lisinac got two and one blocks, respectively.

Cisterna also have the best defender in the SuperLega at this point of the season in Damiano Catania. The 21-year-old libero has been one of the revelations of the season and has 111 digs to his name, against 98 for Vero Volley Monza’s Filippo Federici and 92 for Cucine Lube Civitanova’s Italian international Fabio Balaso.

The top server in the Italian League this season, however, is Malian outside hitter Noumory Keita, who joined Verona in 2022-2023. He will be looking to increase his tally against Taranto on Saturday. With 30 aces, he ranks ahead of Sir Safety Susa Perugia’s star outside hitter Wilfredo Leon and Monza’s Belarusian outside hitter Uladzislau Davyskiba, who have both fired 24 aces.

Taranto, however, have the most productive setter in the Italian League on their side. Veteran playmaker Marco Falaschi, 35, has more successful sets than anyone else in the league at 682. He leads the ranking ahead of Modena captain and Olympic champion Bruno Rezende (515) and Pallavolo Padova’s Davide Saitta (366).

The sixth and final statistical leader ahead of this weekend's matches is Modena veteran libero Salvatori Rossini, who, at the age of 36, is at the top of the passing charts with 83. Trailing him are Taranto outside hitter Oleg Antonov, with 32, and Emma Villas Aubay Siena’s libero Federico Bonami, with 31.

This weekend’s full SuperLega Credem Banca schedule:

Jan 14, 18:00 local time (17:00 UTC): Gioiella Prisma Taranto v WithU Verona

Jan 15, 15:30 local time (14:30 UTC): Cucine Lube Civitanova v Vero Volley Monza

Jan 15, 18:00 local time (17:00 UTC): Sir Safety Susa Perugia v Pallavolo Padova

Jan 15, 18:00 local time (17:00 UTC): Allianz Milano v Valsa Group Modena

Jan 15, 20:30 local time (19:30 UTC): Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza v Emma Villas Aubay Siena

Jan 15, 20:30 local time (19:30 UTC): Top Volley Cisterna v Itas Trentino