Powered by Cuban-born Italian star Osmany Juantorena, Valsa Group Modena got back on the winning track in Italy’s SuperLega Credem Banca and mastered their first three-point victory since the start of the season. No surprises were produced in Wednesday’s other four fifth-leg matches either and favourites Itas Trentino Trento, Sir Susa Vim Perugia, Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza and Cucine Lube Civitanova also took home three points each.
Juantorena on fire as Modena get back on winning track
A recap of Italian SuperLega’s fifth-leg matches
Published 05:05, 16 Nov 2023
After starting the season with two 3-2 wins, Valsa Group Modena lost two games in a row, but returned to winning ways in their home match against Pallavolo Padova Padua and celebrated a 3-1 (23-25, 25-18, 27-25, 25-11) victory, improving to a 3-2 win-loss record and 7 points in sixth place in the current standings. On 2-3 and 4, Padova stand ninth.
Osmany Juantorena earned the Most Valuable Player award after spiking at a 72% success rate and contributing three aces towards a match-high 21 points. Valsa Group’s other outside hitter Tommaso Rinaldi and Belarusian opposite Uladzislau Davyskiba also fired three aces each and produced two kill blocks each to finish with 20 and 15 points, respectively. While German middle blocker Anton Brehme reached the double digits too, putting away 10 points, his cross-court teammate Giovanni Sanguinetti impressed with a 100% success rate in attack to score nine times in the match. Davide Gardini was Padova’s best scorer with 16 points to his name.
“I'm happy with this match,” Anton Brehme said. “It was a hard-fought and very important victory, which came thanks to the strength of the team. The PalaPanini is a new environment for me and it is special to play here. During the match I managed to loosen up and find continuity both in serving and in blocking.”
“We wasted a great opportunity, the one in the third set, where we were ahead, but then Modena started to serve really hard and this put our reception in difficulty,” commented Padova’s outside Luca Porro. “Excluding the fourth set, during which we let our guard down, I am still happy with tonight's performance.”
Defending champions Itas Trentino extended their winning streak to a fifth victory since the start of the SuperLega season with a 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-19, 25-16) success at Allianz Milan and topped the table on 5-0 and 13 points. Allianz are 10th on 1-4 and 4. Outside hitter Alessandro Michieletto topped the scorers’ chart of the match, delivering two aces and a kill block towards his 20-point match high. Trentino’s other outside Daniele Lavia and Luxembourgish opposite Kamil Rychlicki added another 18 points each. Japanese outside Yuki Ishikawa and young Belgian opposite Ferre Reggers scored 16 points each for Allianz, while Bulgarian star Matey Kaziyski put away 10 points against his previous team.
Also on 13 points, but on a 4-1 win-loss record, Sir Susa Vim Perugia stand second in the table after their 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 25-13) away victory over winless Gioella Prisma Taranto. Outside hitters Oleh Plotnytskyi of Ukraine and Kamil Semeniuk of Poland led the way with 17 and 14 points, respectively, while Brazilian middle Flavio Gualberto shined in blocking with six stuffs towards a total tally of 13 points. Cuban outside Jose Gutierrez was the home team’s best scorer with 14 points.
Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza claimed a 3-1 (25-13, 27-25, 23-25, 25-20) home victory over Cisterna Volley and climbed to third in the standings on 4-1 and 12, surpassing Mint Vero Volley Monza on set ratio. Cisterna are in eighth place on 1-4 and 5. While four players – Brazilian outsides Ricardo Lucarelli (18 points) and Yoandy Leal (17), Italian opposite Fabrizio Gironi (15) and Cuban middle Robertlandy Simon (13) – reached the double digits for the winners, French opposite Theo Faure produced a leg-high 26 points for Cisterna.
Cucine Lube Civitanova achieved the fifth leg’s only straight-set victory. They mastered a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-16) shutout of visiting rookies Farmitalia Catania, led by Turkish opposite Adis Lagumdzija with 15 points, including five kill blocks. Bulgarian outside Aleksandar Nikolov added another 11, while French middle Barthelemy Chinenyeze finished with 10. Outside Luigi Randazzo and Austrian opposite Paul Buchegger led Farmitalia with 10 points apiece. Lube are fifth in the table on 3-2 and 8 points, while the newcomers from Catania stand 11th on 1-4 and 3.
The SuperLeaga returns to action on Saturday and Sunday, when the six games of the sixth leg are set to be played.
SuperLega Credem Banca 2023-2024 5th leg schedule:
Nov 18, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Pallavolo Padova Padua v Rana Verona
Nov 19, 16:00 local (15:00 UTC): Valsa Group Modena v Cucine Lube Civitanova
Nov 19, 17:30 local (16:30 UTC): Sir Susa Vim Perugia v Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza
Nov 19, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Farmitalia Catania v Allianz Milan
Nov 19, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Cisterna Volley v Gioiella Prisma Taranto
Nov 19, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Itas Trentino Trento v Mint Vero Volley Monza