A point earned for WithU Verona in the second match of the Play Offs 5th place on the field of Sir Safety Susa Perugia. Down by a set, Stoytchev’s team promptly reacted, overturning the result and taking it up 2 to 1. Then, the hosts showed their qualities and at the end of five sets they won. Keita stood out particularly among the Scala ranks, capable of putting 20 balls on the ground, a figure that elected him the best scorer of the match. His performance was also topped off with 5 aces. Mozic and Sapozhkov, on the other hand, scored 15 and 13 points respectively. Now the classification sees the Veronese troop in third place at an altitude of 4 points, just one point behind the Umbrians and Monza, next opponent in the race on Tuesday evening at 19.00 at the Pala AGSM AIM.


In the starting sextet, coach Stoytchev relies on the distribution of Spirito, with the diagonal completed by Sapozhkov. The tandem formed by Keita and Mozic was confirmed in the band, with Cortesia and Grozdanov in the center and Gaggini in the free role. The match opens with Flavio’s winning block on Sapozhkov’s attempt. Grozdanov responded immediately with a perfect first half. At the start of the game, balance reigns with several errors in service on both sides. The guests find continuity from place three with the excellent understanding between Spirit and Courtesy (6-6). Perugia tries to escape with Leon’s block on Mozic which is worth 10-7. Keita closes the gap, but the local captain increases the advantage by stamping two great aces (14-9). Sapozhkov interrupts the streak of the hosts, then Keita tries to shock the Scala players with a direct point from nine meters that bends the hands of the opposing rearguard (19-13). The groove dug by the Umbrians, however, is unbridgeable and the first set closes with Plotnytskyi’s pipe (25-15).


Upon returning to the field, Verona enters with the most combative attitude and with Grozdanov finds a block that plays the charge. Immediately after Sapozhkov is precise in serving for the attempted extension of Stoytchev’s troop, which then takes up 3-5. Keita’s service puts local reception in difficulty, with an incredible series, also topped off by two applause aces and the contribution of Cortesia and Mozic on the sub-network: Verona flies up to 3-9. The Umbrians recover some ground, but the Scala are good at capitalizing even on dirty balls, remaining three points above, also thanks to the two diagonals signed by Keita (11-14). Keita is still precious in serving in the next rotation, finding another ace on Piccinelli (12-17). The Malian also pushes from the second row for 14-18. Verona keeps the clubs at a distance with two shots from the usual Keita (17-22). Perugia reacts with Plotnytskyi’s series and first evens the score, then overtakes (23-22). The newcomer Jensen puts the partial back into balance, then Keita takes care of putting the seal (24-26).


In the third set, Plotnytskyi dances from nine meters opens. Verona responds present with Sapozhkov, who puts in a lob and a block, before yet another shot by Keita (2-5). Sir shortens, but Mozic finishes a long exchange by playing well with the hands of the block (7-9). The Slovenian is also the protagonist a few moments later due to his extension (9-12). Herrera blocks Sapozhkov on the wall, restoring verve to the black and whites, who however have to deal with the power of the Russian, who also scored an ace, and Keita (11-16), good at putting Verona up 11-16. With Leon the hosts try to recover, but Sapozhkov is decisive again on the long line, finding the hole that is worth 15-18. WithU dampens the Perugian enthusiasm with Keita’s pipe and the first half scored in Moscow (18-21). The Umbrians are unable to reopen the games and Keita closes the accounts for the Gialloblù overtaking (22-25).


The start in the fourth fraction is made by Umbria, with Sapozhkov reducing the gap with a finely crafted point from place two (3-2). Then Leon goes on his own from nine meters, finding the extension of three lengths (5-2), but Keita is no less in this fundamental, putting Verona back on track. Spirito raises his voice against the block, stopping Semeniuk for 6-5. Russo takes advantage of Giannelli’s invitation and finds the break for him (10-7), before Sapozhkov’s double blow. Score tied again (11-11). From nine meters, Leon is still effective with a long streak that sends Anastasi’s team up 20-11. Rapha’s second intention touch tries to shake the yellow-blues. The gap, however, is too wide and Perugia sends the match to the tie-break with Semeniuk’s hands-out.


Solé’s block kicks off the last partial, with Keita responding immediately. Sir gains a four-point lead thanks to two consecutive blocks printed by Russo and Semeniuk (6-2). The Juventus team finds the extension with the winning attack of Semeniuk, virtually closing the match (10-4). Leon’s pipe gives Perugia +8, which wins the challenge.