Akademia Messina full lead: Brescia falls in the tie-break

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By John

Akademia Città di Messina – Valsabbina Millennium Brescia: 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 19-25, 25-15, 15-6)
Akademia City of Messina:
Battista 19, Martinelli 6, Catania 1, Ciancio 0, Modestino 12, Felappi ne, Mearini 3, Payne 18, Joly 19, Rossetto 2, Maggipinto (L) 0, Galletti 1, Michelini ne, Ramitrez (L). All. Bonafede, Ass. Ferrara.
Valsabbina Millennium Brescia: Florio 18, Pinarello 0, Tagliani 0, Scacchetti 0, Torcolacci 16, Pamio 8, Bulovic ne, Pericati (L) 0, Brandi 1, Malik 14, Babatunde 7, Pinetti ne, Ratti. All. Beltrami, Ass. Cozzi.
Referees: Walter Stancati and Nicola Traversa
Note: Set duration: 26′, 28′, 27′, 23′, 15′. MVP by Cantine Madaudo: Jessica Joly (Akademia Città Di Messina). “Best Blocker Akademia” Award by AU 750 Il Compro Oro: Melissa Martinelli (Akademia Città Di Messina).

The match between “PalaRescifina” ends in a tie-break with the home team’s success Akademia City of Messina and Valsabbina Millenium Brescia. Messina ahead after the first set, recovered by the guests in the second and third sets. A hard-fought match, at times spectacular, in which Messina took risks but did well to recover thanks to more careful blocking and defense in the fourth set. Decisive set without history, with Messina always ahead and Brescia never really in a position to play it on equal terms.

In the starting six, for Messina coach Bonafede lines up Galletti as director, his opposite Payne, central defenders Martinelli and Modestino, place 4 Joly and Battista, libero Maggipinto. For Brescia, coach Beltrami sends Scacchetti on the field as director, Malik opposite him, Torcolacci and Babatunde as central defenders, Fiorio and Pamio in place 4, Pericati as libero.
Also in this home round, an athlete from the youth sector on the bench with Messina; with the jersey of the second libero Alleythere Ramirez, born in ’08.

In the first set, Messina immediately recovered the initial deficit (1-3) thanks to an ace from Martinelli and a double touch in the build-up phase sanctioned to Pericati (3-3). Joly lands two balls in attack and in the block, but the game proceeds in balance until a block by Battista, an ace by Modestino and an error in attack by Malik (11-8); coach Beltrami calls the first time-out. The hosts gradually manage to distance themselves further from their opponents with Payne, Joly and Battista. Messina’s first maximum advantage with a winning attack by Battista (18-12). Brescia keeps the set open with Fiorio, Malik and an error from Payne (18-15). He makes mistakes on both fronts, Pamio holds the lead (23-20), while coach Bonafede sends Catania onto the field for Martinelli. Payne and an error serving Pamio (25-22) ended the set.

In the second set, sextets confirmed by the two coaches. Aggressive start for the Brescia team with Torcolacci and Pamio (0-2) who immediately made coach Bonafede change the choice of the sextet: Catania in for Martinelli. The guests extend their lead with Malik and Fiorio (1-6) and the Syracuse coach calls a time-out. Upon returning, a couple of errors by Brescia put Messina back in the game (4-7). Modestino and Battista drop two blocks in succession (6-9) but the gap remains unchanged; coach Bonafede makes another change: Payne out, Rossetto in. We play at the limit, trying to anticipate the shot as much as possible, but Messina has difficulty putting the ball on the ground. Malik in attack and a block from Babatunde bring Brescia to +5 (11-16). Modestino and Joly recover points, while Bonafede puts Ciancio in for Joly in the turn of service. Battista goes into attack twice, while Modestino scores an ace; Messina is close again (17-18). Brandi takes over Scacchetti, Pamio makes a mistake in attack and Rossetto places a block that is worth the draw (19-19); coach Beltrami calls time-out. Fiorio, Scacchetti and Torcolacci create a new double advantage for Brescia (20-22). Once again a service error decides the partial; this time it’s Catania who makes the mistake (21-25). Best scorer of the first two sets was Valeria Battista with 10 points, behind her Malik, Torcolacci and Fiorio with 9.

In the third set, coach Bonafede brings Payne back in, Rossetto out; Mearini takes over Martinelli. Everything unchanged for coach Beltrami. Brescia ahead with Fiorio (1-4), Mearini shortens in block, while Joly co-attacks strongly diagonally (3-4). Malik makes a mistake and Modestino overtakes (5-4). Joly passes again, another error by Malik and coach Beltrami calls time-out (8-6). The 9-6 is a masterpiece of a team that defends and then sinks with a perfect pipe from Payne for timing and offensive trajectory, avoiding a well-placed opponent’s three-man block (9-6). Brescia gradually recovers the disadvantage; Torcolacci and Malik gain parity (13-13). An error by Payne and Pamio’s offensive allow the guests to find the double advantage (17-19) and close the set with Fiorio (20-25), the best scorer with 17 points; behind Jolyne torcolacci at 12.

In the fourth set, the starting sextets were confirmed. Messina ahead with Battista, Joly, Payne and two errors from the Brescia team (5-1); coach Beltrami immediately calls time-out. Coach Bonafede’s girls leave no room for a possible return of the guests; first they keep the gap and then increase the advantage Galletti, Battista, Paynje and a block from Martinelli (16-9). The final part was all Messina-style with super-Joly with four points in succession (three in attack and one in the block) bearing the signature of the athlete from Valle d’Aosta. The set was closed by the American Payne in pipe (25-15). At the top of the ranking of scorers, Fiorio again at 18, with Joly at 16.

In the tie-break, the starting lineups are still confirmed. Messina immediately ahead with Payne from place two who passes over the wall and closes diagonally (1-0). Joly and Modestino make Messina put their faces forward (3-2), while Fiorio fails to equalize and Modestino places an ace (5-2). But the hard blow is Martinelli’s block (6-2), while Battista finds a powerful touch-out (7-2). Payne makes the change: first he tries with the pipe but Brescia defends well, Messina does the same with Joly; Galletti’s lift for Payne finds the American ready to sink in parallel (8-3). Payne goes further, while Martinelli in the block forces coach Beltrami to time out (10-5). Battista hits the pipe and with an ace finds +7 (12-5). Joly twice and Payne decide the final (15-6).

In the post-match press conference, these are the statements of the scoutman Daniele Cesareo: “It was a great test of mentality. We started reasonably well in the first set, winning it. Then we ran into difficulty. Remarkable reaction from the girls, even with the substitutes; our bench is fundamental. The changes were made to win the match and bring home the result. The girls know that they have to fight for their place in every training session and something more can always come from the bench. I don’t think Brescia has dropped, we have increased the pace on the block and in defence, playing more balls. Great credit to the girls and the staff. The quality increased and therefore we put Brescia in difficulty who, however, had managed to play their game in the second and third.”