Superlega 2023 - News.

Valsa Group Modena, Bruno Rezende (source:

The penultimate 21st leg of Italy’s SuperLega Credem Banca regular season coming up this weekend offers high-level clashes between the top two teams and between the third and the fourth in the current standings, but the big question is who will book the last vacancy in the upcoming playoffs - Valsa Group Modena or Cisterna Volley. And that question might find its answer on Sunday, but also might be left hanging until the very last matches of the regular season a week later.

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With an impressive squad built around huge stars like Brazilian playmaker and captain Bruno Rezende and Cuban-born Italian outside hitter Osmany Juantorena, Valsa Group Modena were among the favourites for the top places in the SuperLega. Surprisingly, however, with two games to go, their spot among the quarterfinalists is still at an imminent risk. They are currently above the cut-off line, in eighth place on 24 points and a 10-10 win-loss record, just a point clear of the other candidate for a playoff spot, Cisterna Volley, who are ninth on 23 and 7-13.

Both rivals have home games scheduled on Sunday, February 25, at 18:00 local time (17:00 UTC). Modena will host SuperLega rookies Farmitalia Catania, standing bottom of the table and already doomed to relegation, while Cisterna will welcome fifth-placed Rana Verona, who are already qualified for the playoffs, but in a tight race for a better starting position in the bracket. If Modena win and Cisterna lose, and at least one of these matches is resolved in fewer than five sets, then Bruno and his teammates will have secured the last ticket to the quarterfinals. Otherwise, the question will be left open until the very end, when Modena travel to Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza and Cisterna visit Mint Vero Volley Monza.

When they first met in Catania for their 10th-leg fixture in December, Modena overcame Farmitalia’s resistance only after coming back from a set down twice and pushing the match to a fifth-set tie-breaker, . The home team’s Austrian opposite Paul Buchegger produced a match-high 26 points, while his Russian counterpart on Modena’s side Maksim Sapozkov and outside Tommaso Rinaldi led the winners with 19 points apiece. Meanwhile, Rana Verona defeated Cisterna in straight sets, but two of the sets were decided by the narrowest of margins, , with outsides Rok Mozic of Slovenia and Francesco Sani leading the way with 18 points each. French opposite Theo Faure was Cisterna’s best scorer with 15 points. In fact, Verona are on a five-game winning streak in the head-to-head series with Cisterna. The last time Cisterna managed to beat Verona was back in October 2021.

“Sunday’s match will be very important for us. We are preparing well and we will face it in the right way. Let’s achieve our goal of entering the playoffs and have our say until the end. My teammates get along well and I think it shows, as we continue on this path trying to improve.” Riccardo Gollini, libero of Valsa Group Modena

Catania vs. Modena | Highlights | Superlega | 10a Giornata

At the same time on Sunday, second-placed Sir Susa Vim Perugia, reigning club world champions, Coppa Italia holders and Supercoppa Italiana laureates, will entertain table leaders and defending Italian champions Itas Trentino Trento. Although the outcome of this game will have no effect on the two teams’ positions in the final regular season standings and the playoff bracket, a clash between the top two sides of the season so far is guaranteed to deliver a great show for the viewers and possibly a sneak preview of the championship final.

A bit earlier in the day, in Sunday’s opener at 16:00 (15:00), however, third-placed Cucine Lube Civitanova host fourth-placed Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza and the outcome of that match could have important impact on the final regular season standings. The two teams are on 37 points each, with Lube edging ahead on number of wins. Whoever wins will gain a solid advantage in the race for the third place, but whoever loses could face a serious struggle to even keep to fourth place in the table, as there are three teams right below them – Verona (12-8), Vero Volley (11-9) and Alianz Milan (10-10) – on 33 points each and ready to grab every opportunity to climb up the playoff bracket.

Mint Vero Volley Monza will open the competition weekend with Saturday’s only game, visiting 10th-placed Pallavolo Padova Padua, at 18:00 (17:00), while Allianz Milan will travel to 11th-placed Gioiella Prisma Taranto on Sunday at 17:00 (16:00). Both Padova and Prisma neither have a shot at the playoffs, nor are at risk of relegation anymore.

SuperLega Credem Banca 2023-2024 21st leg:
Feb 24, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Pallavolo Padova Padua v Mint Vero Volley Monza
Feb 25, 16:00 local (15:00 UTC): Cucine Lube Civitanova v Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza
Feb 25, 17:00 local (16:00 UTC): Gioiella Prisma Taranto v Allianz Milan
Feb 25, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Valsa Group Modena v Farmitalia Catania
Feb 25, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Sir Susa Vim Perugia v Itas Trentino Trento
Feb 25, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Cisterna Volley v Rana Verona