Superlega 2023 - News.

Ran Takahashi in attack against Trentino (source:

Ran Takahashi in attack against Trentino

Ran Takahashi led the way as Mint Vero Volley Monza shocked defending champions Itas Trentino Trento on their home ground with a spectacular five-set victory in the third game of their SuperLega Credem Banca semifinal playoff that kept the squad from Monza alive in the best-of-five series, now pushed to a fourth match on Thursday. Reigning club world champions Sir Susa Vim Perugia edged ahead in their semifinal against Allianz Milan again, while Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza remained the only undefeated team in the race for the fifth place.

  • Watch Italy’s SuperLega Credem Banca live and on demand on VBTV.

Japanese outside hitter Ran Takahashi produced a match-high 25 points in Mint Vero Volley Monza’s surprising 3-2 (24-26, 25-22, 27-25, 25-27, 15-13) victory over Itas Trentino Trento at a sold-out ilT quotidiano Arena in Trento on Sunday, the first win for the squad from Monza in the series, which came just as the champions were about to wrap up this semifinal playoff in three games. This result, in which four of the five sets were decided by the narrowest of margins, brought in Vero Volley’s first-ever victory in Trento. Takahashi helped keep his team alive in the playoffs with 24 points in attack at a 56% success rate and 1 kill block, while registering 52% good reception, to earn the MVP award of the match.

Still handling a fair share of the team’s serve reception, Canadian striker Eric Loeppky played in the opposite’s position for this match and contributed another 24 points, including two blocks and an ace, towards Vero Volley’s success. His compatriot, outside hitter Stephen Maar, also reached the 20+ mark with two kill blocks and 20 successful spikes towards a 22-point tally.

“This match was crazy. When your back is against the wall, you always have to bring out the best, and I think that today we all fought together, putting everything we had into play,” Loeppky said after the game. “They put us in difficulty, playing well, but I'm very happy with the result and for the team. The next match will be very tough. We have to be ready.”

Outside Alessandro Michieletto was Trentino’s best scorer of the match with 24 points, followed by cross-court teammate Daniele Lavia with 20, Luxembourgish opposite Kamil Rychlicki with 15 and Slovenian middle blocker Jan Kozamernik with 11 points.

“I'm sorry that today it went this way, but we must recognize the great performance of Monza,” Kozamernik commented. “We could have played better in some fundamentals. We made too many mistakes due to a lack of attention. I expected that Monza would enter the court more concentrated and determined, especially after the return of Maar, who brings character and quality to the team. Now we have to recover, remaining calm and always believing in our abilities.”

Trentino vs. Monza | Highlights | Superlega | Round 3 of the Semifinals

Inspired by their success in game two, Allianz Milan took the first set of their visit to Sir Susa Vim Perugia for game three, but then the home side lived up to the expectations of the nearly five thousand fans on the stands and delivered a 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-21) victory to edge ahead in the series by 2-1 in wins. Tunisian opposite Wassim Ben Tara claimed the MVP nomination after producing a match-high 24 points towards Sir’s success. He spiked at a 65% success rate and registered one ace and one kill block. Polish outside Kamil Semeniuk contributed another 16 points, while Brazilian middle Flavio Gualberto and Ukrainian outside Oleh Plotnytskyi finished with 11 points each.

Bulgarian legend Matey Kaziyski led Allianz with 15 points. Belgian opposite Ferre Reggers added another 13. Allianz’s Japanese outside Yuki Ishikawa also reached the double digits with 10 points.

“Game three is already in the past. We'll file it away and think about game four, which will be a tough match where they will be better than tonight,” said Sir’s star setter Simone Giannelli. “Tonight we fought well, what we will also have to do on Thursday in Milan.”

“We started very well, but then in the second and the third sets we didn't play the way we know. They performed very well, but I think the problem was ours - you can't make certain mistakes we made, when you play against Perugia.”

Perugia vs. Milano | Highlights | Superlega | Round 3 of the Semifinals

The second leg of the round-robin phase in the fifth-place playoffs also took place on Sunday and Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza were the only team that managed to achieve a second win to top the current standings. In a hard-fought five-setter, they managed a 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 25-27, 25-16, 15-8) home victory over Rana Verona, despite a 29-point match high from Verona’s Malian opposite Noumory Keita. Cuban middle Robertlandy Simon raised five kill blocks to lead Gas Sales’ scorers together with opposite Yuri Romano (three aces) on 18 points each.

In another captivating five-setter, Russian opposite Maksim Sapozhkov fired 26 points, including three aces and three blocks, to power Valsa Group Modena to their first win in this race, 3-2 (23-25, 25-23, 26-24, 23-35, 15-10) at home against Cisterna Volley, who remained the only winless team of the six, on 0-2 at the bottom of the table.

Modena vs. Cisterna | Highlights | Superlega | Playoff 5 Posto

Pallavolo Padova Padua also celebrated their first success in the fifth-place race, a convincing 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-23) shutout of visiting Cucine Lube Civitanova. Belgian outside Mathijs Desmet was the best scorer of the match with 15 points for the winners.

The third leg of the fifth-place round robin will be played on Wednesday, while the fourth leg of the semifinal playoffs is scheduled on Thursday.

SuperLega Credem Banca 2023-2024 semifinals – 4th leg:
Apr 11, 20:30 local (18:30 UTC): Mint Vero Volley Monza v Itas Trentino Trento
Apr 11, 20:30 local (18:30 UTC): Allianz Milan v Sir Susa Vim Perugia

SuperLega Credem Banca 2023-2024 fifth-place playoffs – 3rd leg:
Apr 10, 20:00 local (18:00 UTC): Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza v Valsa Group Modena
Apr 10, 20:30 local (18:30 UTC): Cucine Lube Civitanova v Rana Verona
Apr 10, 20:30 local (18:30 UTC): Cisterna Volley v Pallavolo Padova Padua