It’s a beautiful Rana Verona who wins the Eurosuole Forum in the final match of the first round of the SuperLega. Down 2-0, Coach Stoytchev’s team shows off an applause-filled reaction, overturns Cucine Lube Civitanova and scores their third consecutive victory, which is also worth the certainty of participating in the Quarter Finals of the Del Monte Italian Cup. A result that certifies the progress shown in the latest outings by the Scala boys. Super performance from Dzavoronok, who scored 17 times – 5 from nine meters – and won the MVP award. Also, on the shields Cortesia, monumental sub-goal with 7 winning blocks. Keita (14) and Sani (12) also scored in double figures. Overall, a solid test in the defensive phase, with 52% positive.

In the starting sextet, Coach Stoytchev relies on the diagonal composed of Spirito as dribbler and Amin in the opposite role. The two spikers in the squad are Mozic and Dzavoronok, with Zingel and Cortesia at the center of the net. As a libero, however, there is D’Amico.

The match opens with Amin’s attacking error, to which Dzavoronok responds immediately from the second line. The Czech hammer is good at playing with his hands on the block, before Zingel’s ace at the back of the net (3-4). The two teams respond blow for blow, then Spirito enters the scoreboard with a second-intention touch (9-9). Dzavoronok kept his players hooked on their opponents, who then found the first break with Nikolov’s winning pipe (13-11). The Cucineri extend the lead, but Cortesia dampens the escape attempt for 15-13. Amin punishes the home reception with two points in a row from nine meters and Verona brings the score back to parity, before overtaking Mozic (16-17). Courtesy stops Lagumdzija, signing the +2 (18-20). Lube takes it back, the Turkish opposite hits a block and an ace (24-21), then Anzani closes it with a block.

The start of the second half is along the lines of the first, with Zingel and Mozic responding to the blows launched by the local troops. Dzavoronok slots the ball between Anzani’s hands and the net, before placing it within three meters (3-5). A good series of serves from the number 4 allows the Scaligeri to extend by four (4-8). The red and whites close the gap, but Spirito wins a contested ball under the net, making it 11-8. Newly introduced Sani first unloads his strength from the second line, before finding the point directly with a defense (10-14). Lube grabs the equalizer and puts their face forward thanks to Chinenyeze’s ace (15-14). Anzani blocks Keita and increases the advantage for his team (18-15), then Nikolov lands a serve, before a new monster block by the former central defender of the day (22-16). Zaytsev seals the second set (25-18).

Upon returning to the pitch, Verona regains confidence and Keita takes the lead with two consecutive points (3-4). A prolonged exchange is then concluded by Stoytchev’s boys, who try to move away with Dzavoronok’s ace (5-7). Cortesia takes the stage, putting together a great first half, before finding the direct point in serve with the complicity of the tape (6-9). The number 2 from Treviso takes advantage of the moment and also puts in a monster block (9-13). Sani plays a dirty ball well and hits the +5 (11-16). Keita pierces the taraflex, before scoring a block and an ace within a few points (14-22). Sani also pushes full-arm from nine meters, signing the first of nine set points (14-24). The gap is too wide and Verona reopens the game with a great team reaction.

The fourth set starts with a memorable block from Sani. After a back and forth, Dzavoronok finds the mani-out, which precedes Spirito’s floating ace for 4-5. The momentary draw for the Marche team was immediately canceled out by Cortesia’s first-half ace, followed by Dzavoronok’s ace, one of his most active players (5-8). Zingel best takes up Spirito’s suggestion for 7-10. Lagumdija reduces the gap, but Sani stings from place six (10-13). De Cecca’s surprise touch brings Lube back within range, Keita lands two hot balls, then Zaytsev finds the ace to equalize (16-16). Nikolov overcomes and with the block on Keita sends his team ahead by two (20-18). Zaytsev keeps his distance, Keita keeps hopes alive. The trend reverses with a three-way block and an ace from Dzavoronok, with Keita sending the match to a tie-break (23-25).

Dzavoronok starts where he left off, again putting the local rearguard in difficulty with his ace. The home team responded to Sani’s attack and tied the score (3-3) with a direct point from Zaytsev’s service. The break arrives for Blengini’s team, also thanks to Chinenyeze’s ace (7-4). At the changeover, the score is 8-4. On the wall Cortesia and Spirito raise their voices and keep Verona afloat (9-8). Spirito overtakes with an ace that goes onto the sideline (10-11). Keita closes a long rally and brings the score to 11 -13. Cortesia scores the match point, then Zaytsev’s error gives the victory to the guests.


Cucine Lube Civitanova – Rana Verona 2–3 (25-22; 25-18; 16-25; 23-25; 12-15)

Cucine Lube Civitanova: De Cecco 2, Lagumdzija 17, Nikolov 20, Zaytsev 13, Anzani 5, Chinenyeze 10, Balaso (L), Thelle, Yant, Bottolo, Larizza, Diamantini, Motzo, Bisotto (L). All. Blengini Rana Verona: Spirito 6, Amin 8, Sani 12, Mozic 3, Mosca, Zingel 4, D’Amico (L), Jovovic, Keita 14, Dzavoronok 17, Cortesia 13, Zanotti, Bonisoli (L). All. Stoytchev

Referees: Vagni (1st), Canessa (2nd), Verrascina (3rd)

Video Check Officer: Petterlini

Set duration: 29′; 25′; 24′; 29′; 20′; total: 2h 07′

Attack: Cucine Lube Civitanova 39%; Rana Verona 45%

Walls: Cucine Lube Civitanova 13; Rana Verona 11

Ace: Cucine Lube Civitanova 6; Rana Verona 13

MVP: Donovan Dzavoronok

Spectators: 2524