Superlega 2023 - News.

Yoandy Leal in reception for Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza (source: legavolley.it)

Yoandy Leal in reception

Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza’s upset of Sir Susa Vim Perugia produced the highlight of Italy’s SuperLega Credem Banca 17th leg over the weekend. Inspired by Yoandy Leal, who recently returned to action for the first time since November after recovering from a calf injury, Gas Sales pleased the home crowd at the Pala Banca on Sunday with a four-set comeback against the reigning club world champions and holders of the Supercoppa Italiana and the Coppa Italia.

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The Cuban-born Brazilian outside hitter hammered out a match-high 24 points towards his team’s 3-1 (18-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-18) home victory over Sir. He registered two aces, two kill blocks and a 65% success rate in attack to earn the Most Valuable Player nomination. Leal’s cross-court teammate and compatriot Ricardo Lucarelli added another 10 points towards Gas Sales’ success. So did opposite Yuri Romano, who fired as many as five aces in the match. Tunisian opposite Wassim Ben Tara led Sir’s scorers with 14 points, including three aces and a block. Outsides Oleh Plotnytskyi of Ukraine and Kamil Semeniuk of Poland added 10 points each.

The team from Piacenza improved to 35 points and an 11-6 win-loss record, occupying the third place in the current standings. Their rivals from Perugia are second on 40 and 13-4.

“This victory was needed for many reasons, not least that of consolidating the third place in the standings and understanding that we can play great against everyone,” commented Gas Sales’ head coach Andrea Anastasi. “I'm happy for our fans. In the first set, we were lacking in attack and did well in receiving and serving. Then we improved in everything. Great game from Leal! He put the team on his shoulders, he needed time to get back to his levels and today he proved it. Leonardo Scanferla was also very good at reception...”

“They were certainly better tonight,” said Sir’s middle blocker Sebastian Sole. “We had a good approach to the match. We came to Piacenza with the aim of winning. After a good first set for us, they improved by putting a lot of pressure on us with their serve and we dropped off a bit. However, even in defeat, we were always united and together and this is important. We have a lot to work on and we know it.”

Piacenza vs. Perugia | Highlights | Superlega | 17a Giornata

In one of Saturday’s matches, table leaders Itas Trentino Trento got back at Mint Vero Volley Monza for the loss of the Coppa Italia semifinal a week earlier and mastered an emphatic 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-17) shutout of their opponents in Monza to widen their lead at the top of the table to six points. The defending champions are now on 46 and 16-1, while Vero Volley are seventh on 25 and 8-9. Alessandro Michieletto was the best scorer and MVP of the match. Trentino’s outside put away 18 points, including two aces and two blocks. Luxembourgish opposite Kamil Rychlicki added another 13, while Trentino’s Daniele Lavia and Vero Volley’s Canadian outside Stephen Maar finished with 10 points each.

“Compared to the semifinal in Bologna last Saturday, we immediately managed to be much more determined and aggressive, especially with the serve,” said Trentino’s Serbian middle blocker and captain Marko Podrascanin. “Before the match, we promised ourselves to sting with this fundamental, knowing full well that our fortunes could pass through an efficient serve. In Italy Cup, we had the classic bad day, but we learned our lesson. That defeat served us and will serve us again. We are back on the right path to continue the race towards the next two objectives: the Champions League and the Italian championship.”

Monza vs. Trentino | Highlights | Superlega | 17a Giornata

Another two games on Sunday caused a change in the table around the cut-off line for the playoffs, with Cisterna Volley overtaking Valsa Group Modena into the eighth place. Cucine Lube Civitanova produced a 3-0 (25-21, 27-25, 25-23) home win over Modena with 14 points from Turkish opposite Adis Lagumdzija and another 13 from Bulgarian outside and match MVP Aleksandar Nikolov to improve to 32 and 12-5 in fourth place, while Cisterna delivered a 3-1 (24-26, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20) away victory over Gioiella Prisma Taranto, in which their French opposite Theo Faure and the home team’s Cuban outside Jose Gutierrez shared the top-scorer honours with 20 points apiece. This way, Cisterna climbed to eighth place on 22 and 7-10, leaving Modena behind in ninth on 19 and 8-9. The team from Taranto is 11th on 11 and 2-15.

Fifth-placed Allianz Milan and sixth-placed Rana Verona consolidated their positions with straight-set wins at home on Saturday. Led by Belgian opposite Ferre Reggers with 12 points, Allianz achieved a 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-17) shutout of bottom-placed Farmitalia Catania to improve to 29 and 9-8, while Rana Verona claimed a 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-20) victory over Pallavolo Padova Padua, with Malian opposite Noumory Keita contributing 24 points, to rise to 28 and 10-7. Padova are in 10th place on 14 and 5-12, and rookies Farmitalia are stuck to the 12th place on 5 and 1-16.

The SuperLega will return to action with the games of the 18th leg next Saturday and Sunday, February 10 and 11.

SuperLega Credem Banca 2023-2024 18th leg:
Feb 10, 17:30 local (16:30 UTC): Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza v Mint Vero Volley Monza
Feb 10, 18:30 local (17:30 UTC): Farmitalia Catania v Itas Trentino Trento
Feb 11, 16:00 local (15:00 UTC): Sir Susa Vim Perugia v Rana Verona
Feb 11, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Gioiella Prisma Taranto v Cucine Lube Civitanova
Feb 11, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Pallavolo Padova Padua v Allianz Milan
Feb 11, 19:00 local (18:00 UTC): Valsa Group Modena v Cisterna Volley