A warm cheer is not enough for WithU Verona, which in a packed Pala AGSM AIM comes out with no points in his pocket against Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza. Coach Stoytchev’s team shows good continuity during the match, however running into a few too many errors in the serve. The partial results testify to the balanced progress of the match, the outcome of which did not smile and you have yellow and blues, ready to get back on track from the next match, scheduled for December 26th at 18.00 on the Itas Trentino field.


In the starting sextet, coach Stoytchev relies again on Spirito in the control room, with Sapozhkov completing the diagonal, the Mozic-Keita couple in the band, while centrally there are Grozdanov and Mosca, with Gaggini in the libero role. The guests unlocked it with Lucarelli’s diagonal, but the Gialloblù responded immediately with Sapozhkov and Mozic, making it 2 – 1. After a first break from Verona, Romanò put in two aces in a row (4-5) and created the conditions for the ‘I stretch. Mozic shortens the distance, but the Emilians keep the +3 lead, also thanks to Leal’s winning attack. The Gialloblù raise their voice against the block, placing three in a row, not letting their opponents pass (12-12). The level rises along the way, with the two teams offering moments of great show. Piacenza puts its face back with Leal’s nine-metre point (14-16). Verona closes the gap with the usual Sapozhkov, good at playing with the red and white block. Romanò rises to the chair, bringing his scores to 19-22. The first set ends with a touch of second intention by Brizard on 21-25.


Upon returning to the field, unlock Leal with a pipe. Piacenza extends to 3 to 1, but Verona overtakes thanks to Keita’s ace (4-3), who also replies from the second row. In service he also pushes Sapozhkov, who bends the guest rearguard. Mozic is no less, stamping the +3. Brizard tries to kick off the recovery, but Keita gives the Gialloblù a breather (11-9). Romanò still hits hard in serve, bringing the match to 14-14. Sapozhkov puts an end to a prolonged action, with an elusive diagonal. Mozic also goes, making the most of a good lift from Gaggini. You play point to point, but Piacenza returns thanks to Romanò (16-17) and Caneschi’s block. Mozic also imposes himself on the block and is accompanied by his team mate Keita, who momentarily overturns the score from nine meters (21-20). Sapozhkov is strong, Mozic unleashes a monster block, but it is Keita who takes the ovation of the arena, closing the partial on 25 to 23.


Balance also at the start of the third fraction, with Lucarelli signing the 1-2. Keita still formidable in service, with an ace that bends Scanferla’s hands for 3-2. Bernardi’s line-up gets back on track, but Sapozhkov plays well with his hands on the block, making it 7-7. The guests extend to 9-11, however finding the reaction of the locals, who first shorten and then go to 13-13 thanks to a courtesy from Leal, who shoots wide. Piacenza’s attempt to escape is dampened by Grzodanov’s point, which is worth 16-16. The Bulgarian centre-back did it again shortly after, but the guests took the lead again by two lengths (19-21). Mozic doesn’t fit, first he defends, then attacks from the second line, making it 21-21. Perrin also puts his signature on the match, but an ace from Simon brings Piacenza up 2-1.


The fourth set opens with Keita’s point. Piacenza responds with world champion Romanò, who signs the 3-4. The guests create a lead of two points. The newcomer Jensen, in his second season appearance, puts down the 6-7. Leal sends wide and gives the Scala players a momentary equal, who come back forward with a block from Mozic (10-9). The balance is not broken, with the two teams continuing to chase each other. Sapozhkov is precise from place 2 and with a powerful diagonal he makes it 15-14. Grozdanov puts in the +2, which WithU keeps also thanks to Recine’s mistake on serve. Recovery of Piacenza, which with a bit of luck goes on 19-21. You play point to point, but Keita goes long from nine meters and the Emilians close it 3 to 1. Coach Stoytchev’s statements at the end of the match: “Today we faced one of the best teams in Italy, which has top-level interpreters, who made the difference. Volleyball is a sport made up of moments, they made better use of certain situations, but the match speaks for itself and three sets out of four ended with a gap of only two points. We accept this defeat, but now we start working on the things that didn’t work. The arena was special, a round of applause to all the fans.”