Playoffs all set in Italy Superleague


Simon van de Voorde of Diatec Trentino attacks before fellow-Belgian Pieter Verhees of Gi Group Monza as the Italian Superleague Regular Season comes to a close.

Lausanne, Switzerland, February 26, 2017 - Despite going down in five sets 3-2 (18-25, 25-14, 25-22, 17-25, 15-12) to Exprivia Molfetta, Cucine Lube Civitanova finished top of the table in the Italian men's UnipolSai Superleague Regular Season - a position they had already secured with two matches to spare and which gives them home advantage throughout the Playoffs, beginning next weekend with the quarterfinals.

Italian Playoffs Quarterfinals (best of three):
Cucine Lube Civitanova v Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia
Azimut Modena v Calzedonia Verona
Diatec Trentino v Gi Group Monza
Sir Safety Conad Perugia v LPR Piacenza

Previously, midweek, Lube had defeated defending champions Azimut Modena 3-1 (25-20, 25-18, 24-26, 25-17) at home, after inspired performances by top scorer Osmany Juantorena (17 points) and MVP of the game Dragan Stankovic of Serbia.

On the closing day, Sunday, Diatec Trentino secured second place on set-ratio over Sir Safety Conad Perugia, after both won in straight sets.

Trentino beat Gi Group Monza 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-21) with Filippo Lanza, Simon van de Voorde of Belgium, Jan Stokr of the Czech Republic and Tine Urnaut of Slovenia all scoring 10 points each. Perugia were led by Serbia's Aleksandr Atanasijevic who scored 14 points in their own 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-22) win.

ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle running off in Poland
In Poland, meanwhile, ZAKSA Kedzeirzyn-Kozle continued on their winning ways, with France setter Benjamin Toniutti leading them to a 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-22) win over Indykpol AZS Olsztyn as he picked up the MVP of the game award. Rafal Buszak was top scorer of the game with 17 points, as Kedzierzyn-Kozle retained a seven-point lead at the top of the PlusLiga table ahead of Asseco Resovia Rzeszow.

The winner of the domestic league in Poland gets an automatic berth in the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship when the country hosts the event next December.

Resovia are now alone in second place thanks to their win 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-13) win over Luczniczka Bydgoszcz, with Jochen Schoeps of Germany named MVP of the game and Rossard Thibault of France top-scoring on 16 points.

Resovia took advantage of the 3-2 (25-27, 25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 15-10) win of PGE Skra Belchatow over Jastrzebski Wegiel in the match of the day to break clear by two points of these two sides. Mariusz Wlazly and Bartosz Kurek scored 20 points each for Belchatow, as did Maciej Muzaj for the losers.

Zenit Kazan extend winning streak in Russia
With five rounds left until the end of the Regular Season, defending champions Zenit Kazan continue to dominate the Russia Superleague, with Lokomotiv Novosibirsk their latest victim after a 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-21) win. Maxim Mikhailov with 18 points (17/25 for 68 per cent in attack) and Wilfredo Leon with 12 led Zenit.

Zenit remain undefeated across the board this season and lead the table, 11 points ahead of Dinamo Moscow who beat Ural 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 23-25, 25-22) in Ufa this weekend, with Konstantin Bakun scoring 19 points.

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