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Romanò carried Piacenza's offence in the absence of Leal and Lucarelli

Gas Gales Bluenergy Piacenza and Valsa Group Modena won two of the biggest matches of the weekend in the SuperLega Credem Banca and solidified their places in the top five of the Italian League.

While fifth-placed Piacenza topped fourth-placed Trentino Itas on the road in four sets on Sunday, Modena won their fifth match in a row with a sweep of defending champions Cucine Lube Civitanova on Saturday, and are now second in the standings.

Piacenza, who were coming from a defeat to Modena last week, secured their fourth victory in five matches as they dominated 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship silver medallists Trentino and claimed a 3-1 (25-22, 19-25, 25-19, 25-21) win on the road on Sunday. The team played without star outside hitters Ricardo Lucarelli and Yoandy Leal, who were both out due to injury.

In a match that featured six members of the Italian national team that won gold at last year’s FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship, Piacenza’s opposite Yuri Romanò shone the brightest, leaving the court with a match-high 16 points (14 kills, two aces).

Itas Trentino vs. Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza - Match Highlights

The 25-year-old Romanò got help from fellow world champion and outside hitter Francesco Recine, who tallied 14 points (11 kills, two blocks, one ace), and star Cuban middle blocker Robertlandy Simon, who added another 13 with eight kills, one block and four aces.

“I was confident we could play a good match here in Trento, but to win it, it was only a dream,” said Piacenza’s coach Massimo Botti, who managed the team for the first time after being elevated to the position following the departure of Lorenzo Bernardi. “This was only possible because we have an extraordinary group of players, who gave everything they had on the court. I was very excited for my first match as a head coach and I’m glad we had a great performance, but it has to be the start of something bigger for us.”

Trentino’s world champion outside hitter duo of Alessandro Michieletto and Daniele Lavia carried the team’s offence, with each of them chipping in 15 points. Veteran opposite and team captain Matey Kaziyski scored 11.

Although Piacenza remain in fifth place despite the win, they have now eliminated the gap with Trentino as both teams are tied with 25 points and eight wins – Trentino rank fourth with a better set ratio.

Modena, on the other hand, were actually able to move up in the standings with their 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-19) win over Lube at home. Although both teams have nine victories, Modena have collected 29 points to Lube’s 26 and are now in second place.

Star outside hitter Earvin Ngapeth led the team’s offensive system with 12 points (ten kills, two aces), while opposite Adis Lagumdzija and outside hitter Tommaso Rinaldi contributed ten points each.

“It’s wonderful to see our fans so happy,” said setter and team captain Bruno Rezende, who was the match’s Most Valuable Player. “We played a great match today, we approached it the right way and never stopped. This is the way we need to continue to do things. This is a very important result for us in terms of getting a better spot ahead of the playoffs. We worked really hard to get to this position and we need to keep the intensity to remain in a good place.”

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Bruno led Modena to a big win against his former team Lube

Cuban outside hitter Marlon Yant was the only Lube player to score in double digits – he scored ten points with nine kills and one block. Fellow outside hitter Ivan Zaytsev added eight (seven kills, one block).

Meanwhile, league leaders Sir Safety Susa Perugia extended their perfect campaign and now have 42 points and 14 wins in the Italian League. The team claimed their 35th consecutive victory in the season by downing WithU Verona in three sets (25-17, 25-17, 25-16) on the road on Sunday.

WithU Verona vs. Sir Safety Susa Perugia - Match Highlights

Star outside hitter Wilfredo Leon was the top scorer of the match, leaving the court with 17 points (11 kills, six aces). Argentinean middle blocker Sebastian Solé added another ten with seven kills and three blocks.

The SuperLega continues next week with one match on Saturday and six more on Sunday.