At the end of a very intense competition, WithU Verona beats Pallavolo Padova in the Derby del Veneto and celebrates a fundamental victory, which allows it to extend its positive streak. After going up 2 to 0, the Verona team suffers the recovery of their opponents, but does not disunite, fights for every ball and unleashes the final shot in the tie-break, closed by the two aces from Keita, author of 22 points. Coach Stoytchev’s boys thus rise to 29 in the standings. To underline the great performance of Spirito, crowned with the title of MVP. In seven days, Modena will arrive at the Pala AGSM AIM for another important playoff match.


From the first minute, coach Stoytchev confirms the sextet who took the field a week ago. Then, Spirito in the control room, with Keita in the opposite role and the Mozic-Magalini couple in the band. In the center space for Grozdanov and Cortesia, while Gaggini is the libero. The match starts with a block by Mozic against Takahashi, who makes up for it with a direct point from nine meters for the momentary overtaking (3-2). The first break bears the signature of the landlords, who extend to 5 to 2 and increase their lead. Verona regains clarity and reduces the gap that has arisen, thanks to two shots from Keita and Mozic (9-8). The Malian raises his voice even against the block, evening the score. After a prodigious save, Verona grounded the ball for 12-12, then went under again, but with an attack by Magalini they remained in the slipstream. The balance is broken by a good series in the service of Spirito, which allows the guests to put their nose back forward. Magalini signs the +3, before an ace from Keita gives the set point to the Scala. Courtesy will take care of closing the accounts on 21-25.


Upon returning to the field, the local formation went 2-0 up, but the yellow-blues’ reaction was not long in coming. With Keita they find an equal, then they build a dam under the net, which leads Magalini to sign the overtaking (6-7). You play point to point, but Mozic goes up well against the block, blocking the opponents for 9-11. After the ace signed by Petkovic, WithU responds with two winning attacks by Keita, which kick off the draw (12-15). Mozic pushes full arm from nine meters, while Magalini prints two blocks that increase the lead (12-18). The Slovenian hammer also affects from the second line with two consecutive pipes. Magalini is no less from seat six, effectively putting the seal on the set. Cuttini’s team returns to hope with Zoppellari batting. Then Keita extinguishes the Paduan enthusiasm and puts an end to the run on 22-25.


The start of the third fraction sees a recovery from Padova, who tries to charge from nine meters with Gardini, good at finding the ace. Then, Spirito takes his opponents by surprise with a second intention shot, which is equal (6-6). The hosts first accuse the return of Verona, which goes on in the score, then find continuity, reverse the trend and distance the Scala by three lengths. The Paduans maintain a discreet advantage (19-16) and put the host rearguard in difficulty. Subsequently, the tones rise and the referee extracts the red card from Stoytchev, thus giving the home men the point, who take it up 23-20. Mozic’s charge in serving is not enough to make up for it and Saitta halve the disadvantage, winning the partial 25 to 20.


Keita leads the way in the fourth set. Verona immediately tries to extend, going 1-3, but the bianconeri do not give up and overtake. Saitta’s ace allows the Paduans to get on 11-6. The guests didn’t give up and regained their confidence with a winning long-line from Mozic. Keita then puts in two consecutive aces and closes the gap. To surprise the local defense, Spirito rewards Cortesia in the center, who finds two excellent first times, before activating his sight from nine meters and finding the ace. Grozdanov raises his voice against the block, blocking his opponents twice (17-16). At the first ball touched, Sapozhkov punches the home wall, but Padova extends again (22-19), above all thanks to a great Takahashi. Verona is alive and with Mozic it grabs parity (23-23). The intensity of the derby rises and the set goes to the advantages, where Padova has the upper hand, sending the match to the tie-break.


Keita unlocks the score with an elusive diagonal. Sapozhkov, deployed in the starting six, regains confidence with the pitch and pushes in attack, also signing the point of 4-4. Both teams want to win the post and the prolonged action that concludes Volpato is proof of this (7-5). The Gialloblù take back their opponents on 8-8. After Guzzo’s hands-out, Verona first equalized, then overtook with a well-calibrated serve from Mozic, for 13-14. The landlords put the match back on the balance tracks and the tension is always high and more palpable. In the end, Keita decides to go it alone, stamping the two decisive aces. The two points go to Verona.