Rana Verona finds continuity and snatches the third victory in four matches in this group stage of the 5th Place Play Offs, also liquidating Modena in three sets, a few days after the big blow at Lube. Maturity, clarity and pace of play were the keys that allowed Coach Stoytchev’s team to hold the reins of the match until the end, collecting full spoils and climbing to 10th in the rankings. Domination in attack for the Scaligeri, who recorded 58% positivity, with Keita in a graceful evening capable of scoring 19 times and deservedly taking the MVP award. However, three aces from Dzavoronok, who was decisive on serve. Now comes the last match of the group, scheduled for Wednesday again at home against Cisterna.

From the first minute Coach Stoytchev confirms Civitanova’s sextet, with Spirito and Amin forming the setter-opposite diagonal and the Dzavoronok-Keita pair in the band. In the center there is space for Cortesia and Grozdanov, with D’Amico completing the lineup as libero.

The match starts immediately with a long exchange, closed by Spirito’s block, followed by Keita’s winning pipe, who does well at finding the right opening. The guests regain ground and come back behind thanks to Sapozhkov’s ace (4-3). Dzavoronok, however, raises the engine revs from the baseline, finding two direct points in a row from nine meters (7-4). Grozdanov takes things further, Stankovic scores from place three, then Amin crosses to make it 11-6. Dzavoronok plays well with his hands on the block, Keita keeps his distance and makes the score 17-10. Amin returns to push the serve, before Keita sacks the ball into Modena’s hands and the net (21-12). Verona keeps a decent gap, with Amin taking advantage of a dirty ball and putting the seal on the partial (25-15).

The start of the second set was always favorable to the Scaligeri, with Spirito scoring with second intention. Sapozhkov equalizes with a winning diagonal (2-2). D’Amico’s valuable work in defense led to Dzavoronok’s winning attack, which was also decisive from nine metres, before Keita’s 9-4 shot. Cortesia strikes in the first half and increases the gap with the opponents, with the former Sapozhkov trying to close the gap down the line (14-8). Keita asserts himself, then Brehme places the point from the center to make it 17-12. The Malian number 9 unravels an action that is difficult to finish, again piercing the wall, thus directing the set (21-15). Modena tries to get back on track, but Boninfante’s serving error also leaves the second half in the hands of the locals (25-18).

Keita opens the ball in the third, but in this case the match is more balanced, with Rinaldi sealing the equalizer (4-4), with a two-handed touch. The two teams respond blow for blow, Keita hits as he knows how, but Modena puts the front forward, before Amin excite the crowd with the monster block on Sapozhkov for the overtaking (11-10). Davyskiba chooses precision in serve and takes Keita by surprise with the counter-overtaking (11-12). Then Cortesia raises her voice against the wall, Keita does the same and Verona puts the match back on the most favorable track (15-13). Keita keeps his team ahead by showing power in attack. Spirito is insidious with the fleet and puts the Emilian reception in difficulty for the 19-16. Brehme wins the ball contested with Keita and keeps his players alive (20-18). Modena tries, but the hosts are not surprised and take the match point and with Keita’s pipe they close the match (25-22).


Rana Verona-Valsa Group Modena 3–0 (25-15; 25-18; 25-22)

Rana Verona: Spirito 3, Amin 16, Keita 19, Dzavoronok 7, Cortesia 3, Grozdanov 3, D’Amico (L), Jovovic, Sani, Mozic, Mosca, Zingel, Zanotti, Bonisoli (L). All. Stoytchev

Valsa Group Modena: Boninfante 1, Sapozhkov 13, Davyskiba 12, Rinaldi 4, Sanguinetti 3, Stankovic 1, Federici (L), Bruno, Juantorena, Pinali G., Pinali R., Brehme 6, Sighinolfi, Gollini (L). All. Giuliani

Referees: Cavalieri (1st), Santoro (2nd), Lentini (3rd)

Video Check Officer: Spiazzi

Set duration: 23′; 27′; 31′; total: 1h21′

Attack: Rana Verona 58%; Valsa Group Modena 42%

Walls: Rana Verona 5; Valsa Group Modena 3

Ace: Rana Verona 8; Valsa Group Modena 3

MVP: Noumory Keita

Spectators: 2540