Lube’s three-man block against Taranto’s Kyle Russell (source:

Lube’s three-man block against Taranto’s Kyle Russell

What was expected to be an easy one-sided affair turned out to be an epic five-set rollercoaster decided only in the overtime of a tie-breaker. At home, at the Eurosuole Forum, in front of almost 2,500 fans, Italian SuperLega Credem Banca silver medallists Cucine Lube Civitanova survived a tough challenge from winless bottom-of-the-table Gioiella Prisma Taranto and a couple of opponent match points in the fifth set to claim a 3-2 (25-22, 22-25, 21-25, 25-22, 18-16) victory.

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Lube’s Turkish opposite Adis Lagumdzija led the way to victory with a match-high 25 points, including three aces and a kill block. To earn the Most Valuable Player nomination, Lagumdzija also spiked at a success rate of 58%. Bulgarian outside hitter Aleksandar Nikolov added another 19 points in attack, while French middle blocker Barthelemy Chinenyeze registered a 78% success rate in attack to reach the double digits with a total of 10 points, including the match winning kill block in the tie-breaker overtime. Cuban outside Jose Gutierrez led the visitors from Taranto with 22 points. American opposite Kyle Russell added another 21. Middle blocker Giovannimaria Gargiulo impressed with a 77% success rate in attack, three aces and three kill blocks towards a 16-point tally, while outside Filippo Lanza finished with 11 points.

Lube improved to a 5-2 win-loss record and 13 points, standing fifth in the current table, while still winless Gioeilla Prisma pushed themselves up from the bottom of the standings to 11th place on 4 points, surpassing Farmitalia Catania by a point.

“After a clear victory like last Sunday’s in Modena, I am happy to have played a very balanced, difficult match, and above all to have won it,” Nikolov commented after the game. “We did well to react in the right way after losing the third set. At that moment we had to push and we did.”

“We played well, but there is some regret. Still, we took a point away from Lube and despite everything I am happy because we are growing and finding new cohesion,” said Gargiulo. “We certainly always put in the same effort, in training and in matches. In sports, as in life, there are ups and downs, but we are working hard. We try to do our best and, if these are the results, we will certainly continue to improve. We played with the idea that we had nothing to lose, as we knew we were playing against a team of champions. I'm happy.”

In another thrilling five-setter on Sunday, Mint Vero Volley Monza pleased their home crowd of about two thousand with a 3-2 (22-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-20, 15-12) victory over Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza to jump above the opponents into third place in the standings. Vero Volley caught up with Gas Sales on 14 points each, but surpassed them with a 5-2 win-loss record against 4-3 for the team from Piacenza, which dropped to fourth place.

Two Canadians, opposite Eric Loeppky and outside Stephen Maar, led the way for the home team with 21 and 18 points, respectively, while Japanese outside Ran Takahashi added another 17. The MVP award went to Loeppky. Brazilian outside hitters Yoandy Leal with 19 points and Ricardo Lucarelli with 17 were Gas Sales’ leading scorers. Cuban middle blocker Robertlandy Simon added another 12 points, while opposite Fabrizio Gironi put away 11.

“A very long match, but we are very happy with this victory,” Gironi said. “They are very strong and held on well in the first sets, but we were also good at staying in the game and slowly putting away one point after another.”

“We made a lot of mistakes both in reception and in attack and we had to make the most of some counterattacks. We knew that Monza plays very well at home and not only at home, but this is the second time we have lost after being ahead in the match. We always lack that right ball to win and we will have to solve this problem soon,” Gas Sales’ libero Leonardo Scanferla pointed out.

Table leaders Sir Susa Vim Perugia mastered a 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-22) victory at Rana Verona with 14 points each from Ukrainian outside Oleh Plotnytskyi and Cuban opposite Jesus Herrera, while Brazilian middle blocker Flavio Gualberto impressed with six kill blocks towards a 12-point match tally. Rana Verona’s Slovenian outside Rok Mozic was the best scorer of the game with 16 points. Sir improved to 7-1 and 21 points in first place and Rana Verona are down to 10th on 2-5 and 7.

Defending champions Itas Trentino Trento stayed undefeated in second place, on 7-0 and 19, after an emphatic 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-18) home win over Farmitalia Catania, pushing the SuperLega rookies down to 12th place on 1-6 and 3. Luxembourgish opposite Kamil Rychlicki was the best scorer of the match, contributing 19 points to Trentino’s success.

Cisterna vs. Modena | Highlights | Superlega | 7a Giornata

Among the five teams that were on 7 points each before the weekend, Valsa Group Modena and Allianz Milan managed to split ahead of the pack on 10 points each after defeating Cisterna Volley and Pallavolo Padova Padua, respectively. On Saturday, sixth-placed Modena produced a 3-1 (25-11, 22-25, 25-20, 25-16) away win to improve to 4-3, while Cisterna went down to ninth on 2-5 and 7. Belarusian outside Uladzislau Davyskiba delivered a match-high 22 points towards Valsa Group’s victory. Allianz hammered out a 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-19) shutout of visiting Padova on Sunday with Belgian opposite Ferre Reggers leading the way with 13 points. The team from Milan climbed three spots to seventh on 3-4 and 10, jumping over Padova, who descended to eighth on 3-5 and 7.

The matches of the eighth leg are scheduled over three days, from Saturday, December 2, to Monday, December 4.

SuperLega Credem Banca 2023-2024 8th leg schedule:
Dec 2, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Gioiella Prisma Taranto v Valsa Group Modena
Dec 2, 20:30 local (19:30 UTC): Sir Susa Vim Perugia v Cisterna Volley
Dec 3, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Pallavolo Padova Padua v Farmitalia Catania
Dec 3, 18:00 local (17:00 UTC): Cucine Lube Civitanova v Itas Trentino Trento
Dec 3, 20:30 local (19:30 UTC): Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza v Rana Verona
Dec 4, 20:00 local (19:00 UTC): Mint Vero Volley Monza v Allianz Milan