Debut to remember in the Quarter Finals of the Play Offs Scudetto for WithU Verona, which shows off an incredible performance on the Cucine Lube Civitanova field and wins the first round of the series. Rhythm, understanding of play and ability to react were the factors that made the difference on the taraflex of the Eurosole Forum for coach Stoytchev’s boys, capable of filing the practice in three hard-fought sets, all of which ended in advantages. In the middle of a great choral test, Keita took the chair, author of 16 points that earned him the nomination of MVP of the challenge. There is little time to celebrate, because starting tomorrow everyone’s mind is turned to the next appointment: Race 2 will be staged on Wednesday evening at 20.30 at the Pala AGSM AIM.


For this first Play Off engagement, coach Stoytchev relies on Spirito in the control room, with Sapozhkov completing the diagonal, while the duo formed by Mozic and Keita are confirmed in the band. At the center space in Moscow and Grozdanov, with Gaggini as free. The match opens with the winning attack by Mozic. With a monster block, Moscow gives the second point to him, then the hosts overtake, but the excellent understanding between Spirito and Grozdanov in place three is worth the draw (5-5). The cooks find the first draw thanks to Chinenyeze’s block, but Keita takes care of putting the match back on the right track. Verona responds to the blows of the opponents with the usual Keita, good at finding the hole diagonally (12-12). Yant’s mistake allows the guests to get ahead in the score (15-16). Accomplices to some errors in Lube’s sub-goal, the Verona troop puts in the break, moving up to 16-20 with Mosca still in great form against the block. Keita places the ball in the three meters for the twenty-first point. After Zaytsev’s ace, De Cecco’s block is worth overtaking, but WithU puts its face forward and with Mozic’s block they win the first set.


Back on the field, the game is confirmed as balanced. La Lube goes ahead in scoring and tries to keep the minimum advantage. From seat two Keita closes his wrist and stamps the -1. Bottolo finds the hands-out for 8-6 of him. A prolonged exchange is grounded by Sapozhkov, which is repeated in the next action reducing the gap with the opponents (9-8). Verona plays well and with a soft touch from Moscow they find the same (10-10). Civitanova break thanks to the double wall of the former Anzani, with whom he tries to escape. Sapozhkov explodes his power at the suggestion of Spirito, sealing the point of 17-15. From nine meters Zaytsev is still effective and increases the lead (20-15), but Keita’s block keeps Veronese hopes alive. Sapozhkov defends an impossible ball, Mozic puts in an ace with his sight and WithU first takes it back and then overtakes it (20-21). The two teams respond blow by blow and bring the match to the advantage. Verona cancels several opponents set balls and with Grozdanov’s block reverses the trend (29-30) and then closes the accounts.


Verona starts ahead even at the start of the third fraction, but the cooks find an immediate reaction thanks to a good series in the service of Nikolov, good at signing the ace too of 5-2. The guests stay in line, find the new parity and overturn the result (5-6), before flying to +2 with Sapozhkov’s monster block. The inertia of the match changes and Stoytchev’s boys don’t let a ball fall. Keita’s ace starts the escape attempt, which is joined by Sapozhkov (6-10). The team from the Marches, however, maintains its lucidity and gets back on track. The Russian giant and a precise Mozic restore impetus to the Scala family, then it is Keita who signs the triple advantage with a well-calibrated shot (12-15). Assisted by good luck, Nikolov reopens the game from nine meters and the match returns to balance (15-16). Verona picks up the pace and rises to 17-20. With Bottolo’s ace, Lube comes to his senses and the dispute is back in balance. Garcia replies in the first half of Mosca, Nikolov sends his players forward, but the ace of Spirit still changes the conduct of the partial. Then WithU Verona puts the seal on the challenge and wins Race 1.

The words of the assistant coach Dario Simoni at the end of the match: “We got what we wanted from this match. We came here to play our game and demonstrate our individual and team qualities and I think teamwork really emerged tonight. There are moments when the game is decided, as happened with Magalini’s reception, which was decisive. We must continue to work as we have done up to now, putting in the usual effort”.