Another pair of crazy matches in what has turned out to be one of the exciting sets of semifinals in recent SuperLega history. Both Perugia and Lube Civitanova needed a full 5 sets in order to take down their opponent at home, resulting in two long but thrilling matches.
Sir Safety Perugia 3 – Diatec Trentino 2 (25-27, 25-13, 21-25, 25-17, 15-13)
Despite crushing them in the 2nd and 4th sets, it took title favourites Perugia 5 sets to close out the tight match with Trentino. Aaron Russell, who has been in and out of the lineup due to nagging injuries, played in all 5 sets and had 19 kills on 29 attempts with an ace and a block. Trentino relied on their defense to keep themselves in this match, confounding the attackers of Perugia with smart blocks and courageous digs. While this is not the result that Simone Giannelli and the rest of Trentino wanted, after their horrid start to the season it was looking like they may not even make the playoffs. So to lose to one of the 2 best club teams in volleyball right now is nothing to be ashamed of.
MVP: Ivan Zaytsev
Lube Civitanova 3 – Azimut Modena 2 (27-25, 33-35, 25-16, 22-25, 21-19)
Just when you thought the weekend couldn’t get any better, Lube Civitanova and Modena deliver one of the best games of the season. 3 of the sets between these two teams needed extra points to declare a winner, including an epic 41-minute long 2nd set that totaled 68 points. Bulgarian opposite Tsvetan Sokolov put in a performance for the ages, with 34 points, 5 of them coming from stuffing the ball in Modena’s faces. Tine Urnaut, Daniele Mazzone, and Bruno did all they could to take a win away from home, but couldn’t pull away at key moments in the 1st and 5th sets. An especially controversial moment came at the end of the final set when the referee mistakenly thought that ball dug by Bruno had hit the floor.
MVP: Tsvetan Sokolov
Both teams are playing on Sunday this weekend at noon.