Third victory in a row for Rana Verona, but this one has a different flavor because it gives first place in the 5th Place Play Off group, with the overtaking of Piacenza. Coach Stoytchev’s team also beats Cisterna Volley 3 to 0 and finishes in command of the group with 13 points. A success that confirms the good moment of the Scaligeri, who in all the matches of this phase managed to collect the entire or partial spoils. Against Pontini, Amin took the lead, capable of hitting 23 goals, with 3 aces and as many blocks, which earned him the nomination of MVP. Good performance also from the returning captain Mozic, in double figures, while Cortesia scored 3 direct points from nine meters. The next step is the semi-final, scheduled for Monday 22 April at 8.30pm, again at home against Valsa Group Modena.

Coach Stoytchev almost entirely confirms the sextet that took the field in the last two matches, therefore with Spirito in the control room and Amin completing the diagonal. The news in the squad concerns the return from the first minute of captain Mozic alongside Keita, with the Cortesia-Grozdanov pair at the center and D’Amico as libero.

Mozic misses the first attack just wide, but makes up for it immediately afterwards. The hosts try to get ahead with a good series of serves from Spirito, with Amin doing well to score on two dirty balls (6-4). The Iranian opposite maintains the two-point lead with a well-managed hand-out. Mozic does the same on the opposite side and increases the gap to 11-8. Keita makes the most of a free ball, then Faure crosses it into the corner for 14-11. The guests try to stay connected, but Mozic makes a first-time effort on an imprecise reception and sends the score to 19-15. The Scaliger captain puts his team up by four, then Nedeljkovic puts the Pontini back on track, bringing them to within one (21-20). Amin goes wild, first hitting a block and then the set point ace (24-21). Cisterna cancels two, then Keita takes care of sealing the score at 25-23.

Upon returning to the pitch, after some initial slip-ups on the part of both teams, the Scala players picked up the pace and started pushing the accelerator again. Amin strikes again by scoring the ace which forces Falasca to call a time-out. Mozic shoots hard diagonally and creates a gap on his opponents (10-5). Cortesia hits in the center and also scores from nine meters for 12-6. Mozic is ruthless in putting down loose balls, then Spirito rewards the first half again in place three with Grozdanov and Cortesia on the scoreboard (18-10). Mazzone blocks the same number 2 from Treviso, then Peric tries to relaunch him (18-14). Amin unravels an intricate situation with his left foot and gives Verona breathing space (20-14). Mosca enters the field and immediately signs a monster block, then it is Cortesia who closes the half at 25-15.

An explosive start also in the third set for the local troops, with two blocks from Amin to excite the crowd (3-0). Courtesy prevents the pontini from recovering, Keita pierces the opponents’ hands, then also flies from the second line, increasing the distances (9-5). Baranowicz finds continuity from nine meters and allows his team to re-establish balance on the pitch, with the help of his attacking elements (11-11). Mosca scores from place three, Amin replies, but Cisterna regains confidence, overtakes and with Peric’s ace he gains two points (13-15). The Scala players put their face forward again, but in this phase the game is played point by point. Double lead scored by Amin and held by Mosca at 20-18. Zingel hits a block, Amin explodes his power again, but Cisterna doesn’t give up and brings the score back to parity and the advantage. Mozic finds the new match point, the Pontini equalise. Amin cuts the ball into three metres, then it is the captain who closes the game at 27-25.


Rana Verona – Cisterna Volley 3–0 (25-23; 25-15; 27-25)

Rana Verona: Spirito 2, Amin 23, Keita 9, Dzavoronok, Cortesia 6, Grozdanov 2, D’Amico (L), Jovovic, Sani, Mozic 11, Mosca 2, Zingel, Zanotti, Bonisoli (L). All. Stoytchev

Cisterna Volley: Baranowicz 4, Faure 12, Bayram 4, Peric 4, Nedeljkovic 5, Rossi 3, Piccinelli (L), Giani, Finauri, Ramon 9, Czerwinski 1, Mazzone 5, Tosti, De Santis (L). All. Falasca

Referees: Papadopol (1st), Rossi (2nd), Lorenzin (3rd)

Video Check Officer: Cristoforetti

Set duration: 31′; 26′; 32′ total: 1h29′

Attack: Rana Verona 52%; Cistern Volleyball 45%

Walls: Rana Verona 5; Volleyball Cistern 8

Ace: Rana Verona 8; Volleyball Cistern 5

MVP: Amin Esmaeilnezhad

Spectators: 1568