ItasTrentinoTrento_VeroVolleyMonza_02

Itas Trentino Trento will welcome Vero Volley Monza in the most anticipated clash of the sixth leg in Italy’s men’s league, one of this weekend’s six SuperLega Credem Banca fixtures, all available live and on demand on VolleyballWorld.tv.

Sunday’s game (15:30 local time) attracts the spotlights not only because it offers a remake of last month’s Supercoppa final in Civitanova Marche, which Trentino won in four sets, led by team captain and tournament MVP Matey Kaziyski and fabulous playmaker Riccardo Sbertoli, but also because the two teams are neighbours in the current standings, just below new leaders Cucine Lube Civitanova, with all three on 13 points and 4-2 win-loss records.

After conceding two back-to-back defeats, Trentino bounced back on Wednesday with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-12) away win at Consar RCM Ravenna in an 11th-leg fixture, preponed due to the team’s participation in December’s FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship. Opposite Giulio Pinali contributed a match-high 16 points, including three aces, while outside hitter Daniele Lavia impressed with five kill blocks towards a tally of 12 points. The victory lifted Trentino to the second place in the table.

“There are no simple games to win. We took a step forward compared to the previous week. The situation has served us as a lesson and we have grown,” said Sbertoli. “Now the match against Monza awaits us. It will be another difficult game.”

In the other 11th-leg match, brought forward to last Wednesday, defending champs Lube produced a 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-16) away shutout of Vero Volley, getting back at their opponent for the home loss they suffered in the Supercoppa semifinals. Lube’s Brazilian star Ricardo Lucarelli delivered a fantastic eight aces (towards an 18-point total) to lead his team to victory and the top of the standings, pushing the previous leaders from Monza down to third.

“I am happy about my serving performance,” Lucarelli said. “I had also successfully practised my short serve during the last training session in the morning. It went well. I hope it works in the next games too. Now I look forward to Sunday's game with Modena, which we will play in front of many friends. It will be a difficult challenge.”

Seventh-placed Leo Shoes PerkinElmer Modena are Lube’s next rival. Yoandy Leal, Earvin Ngapeth, Bruno Rezende and the rest of their teammates travel to Civitanova for Sunday’s six-o’clock match on a record of two wins and two losses.

Despite having played only four matches so far, Sir Safety Conad Perugia are fourth in the standings, only a point away from the top three. After shutting out Trentino last weekend on a 21-point match high by Wilfredo Leon, they hope to extend their perfect record of four wins in a row further as they entertain eighth-placed Allianz Milan (2-2) in Saturday’s late match starting at 20:30.

In Sunday’s late match, also starting at 20:30, fifth-placed Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza (4-1) will look to recover from their first loss of the season, in Monza last weekend, as they host ninth-placed Top Volley Cisterna (2-2).

"After the defeat in Monza, we are training as hard as we can. I think the team is well balanced. The goal is to keep improving to do well in the league and I think we have all the possibilities to do so,” Piacenza’s Turkish opposite Adis Lagumdzija, one of SuperLega’s top two scorers this season (108 points in five matches). “On Sunday we play against Cisterna. Every match is difficult in its own way, but if we stay focused on the goal and play well I think it will be easier for us to face it."

After losing to reigning champs Lube in the first leg, Kioene Padua went on a three-game winning streak. Standing sixth on seven points, they will attempt to extend their victory run as they travel to 10th-placed Gioiella Prisma Taranto. These two teams will get the competition weekend underway on Saturday at 18:00.

Two teams that are very close to the bottom of the table will meet on Sunday to get the race for survival heated up. Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia, currently in 11th place on a 1-4 win-loss record, entertain winless Consar RCM Ravenna, bottom 13th on 0-6, at 18:00.

  • Watch all the matches of the Italian men's and women's top-division leagues live or on demand on VolleyballWorld.tv.