The Akademia Messina in flight: a victory for Valentine’s Day and third place


By John

City of Messina-Balducci Macerata 3-1
Set: 25-12; 17-25; 28-26; 25-19
Akademia City of Messina: Battista 8, Martinelli (k) 9, Catania, Ciancio, Modestino 21, Felappi, Mearini ne, Payne 16, Joly 7, Rossetto 7, Maggipinto (l), Galletti 1, Michelini ne, Romeo (l) ne All.: Fabio Bonafede
Macerata: Bresciani (l), Vittorini 2, Bolzonetti 14, Masciullo ne, Bonelli 3, Mazzon 7, Quarchioni ne, Broekstra ne, Korhonen ne, Fiesoli (k) 19, Civitico 7, Stroppa 11. Coach: Michele Carancini
Referees: Giorgia Spinnicchia from Catania and Giovanni Ciaccio from Palermo
Messina. The Akademia Città di Messina could not have given itself a better gift on Valentine’s Day and with the 3 to 1 home win inflicted on Balducci Macerata they regained victory and third place in the Promotion Pool, as well as putting the ghosts of San Giovanni in Marignano behind them.
Akademia started decisively in the first set. Payne’s prolific serving came with a break of six points in a row for 10 to 2. Macerata struggled to find the key to the problem despite the two discretionary calls called in rapid sequence by coach Carancini. Coach Bonafede’s girls continue to lead the way and the gap grows to +13 (17-4) after two winning serves from Modestino and a block from Martinelli which effectively pave the way towards winning the set (25 to 12).
The cards are shuffled in the second with Macerata finding the right sensations at the start thanks to shots from Bolzonetti and Fiesoli (1-5) but Akademia is always on the ball, comes back and finds parity (6-6). Then Macerata extends by four points with two aces from Bonelli (9-13), remaining always ahead throughout the half. Fiesoli and her teammates widen the gap to +8 (13-21 on a block by Bolzonetti) and then close it with the opposite Stroppa (17-25).
In the third the Marche team tries to repeat the script of the previous one with an advantage in the initial phases (+6 from 4 to 10) but the heart of the Akademia comes out in difficult moments: a break of 9 to 2 with Modestino and Payne on the shields allows to return to the game (16-17).
Coach Carancini’s girls try a blaze (18-21) but Battista takes care of it with a powerful attack to open a new break of four points in a row which is worth the first overtaking during the set. Martinelli and her teammates stay ahead, they get two opportunities in a row to close it out which Macerata cancels out, but a super Modestino takes care of the advantages with two points in a row to make it 2-1 in the set count.
Balducci also carries the waste, especially on a mental level, into the fourth game where she soon has to chase (7-4 ace from Martinelli) but this time she doesn’t have the strength to recover and the gap grows on Battista’s attack (+6 of 14- 8). Messina sees the finish line getting closer and closer, contains the last guest outburst (16-13) and starts pushing again until Rossetto puts the ball on the ground which is worth the victory and makes PalaRescifina explode.

Pool Promotion – 4th Day
Perugia-Mondovì 3-1
Talmassons-SG Marignano 2-3
Albese-Montecchio 3-1
Fvg Busto-Cremona 3-0
Messina-Macerata 3-1
Perugia 61, Fvg Busto Arsizio 55, Città di Messina 49, Macerata 46, Cremona 44, Talmassons and SG Marignano 41, Albese Como 40, Montecchio 35, Mondovì 33.