The Akademia Messina never stops. Rossetto and her teammates also win in Cremona in four sets PHOTO

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By John

Cremona ufficio Esperia Cremona – Akademia Città di Messina: 1-3 (25-22, 20-25, 11-25, 22-25)

Cremonaoffice Esperia Cremona: Taborelli 19, Gamba (L) 0, Balconati 1, Munarini 9, Rossini 6, Ferrarini 11, Piovesan 8, Coveccia 1, Turlà 0, Landucci 1, Scialanca (L) ne, Zorzetto 1, Felappi ne. All. Zanelli, Ass. Lucherini.

Akademia City of Messina: Battista 18, Martinelli 13, Catania ne, Ciancio ne, Modestino 8, Felappi (L) ne, Mearini ne, Payne 3, Joly 15, Rossetto 12, Maggipinto (L) 0, Galletti 1, Michelini 0. All. Bonafede, Ass Ferrara.

Referees: Luca Cecconato and Roberto Russo
Set duration: 25′, 24′, 20′, 26′
MVP: Valeria Battista (Akademia City of Messina)

Another success for Akademia Città Di Messina which, in the second first round of the Pool Promozione, beat the local team Esperia (1-3) at the “PalaRadi” in Cremona and, awaiting the Sunday matches, flies to the second step of the ranking; Lombardy, one point ahead on the eve, overtaken in the standings. And next Sunday it will be away again against San Giovanni in Marignano.

Complicated start for the guests who are unable to play at their usual pace and suffer the Cremona surprise. Having lost the first set, Bonafede’s girls regained the usual shine of their best performances and slowly, with character and aggression, regained control of the match, rebalancing the contest with the success achieved in the second set. In the following set, Cremona suffered the greater determination of their opponents, giving in with a low score, and then returned to playing on equal terms in the fourth and decisive set where Messina waited for their opponents for the entire development of the set and then ended the contest early with a decisive leap.

In the starting six, for the hosts from Cremona, coach Zanelli relies on Turlà, his opposite Taborelli, central defenders Munarini and Ferrarini, place 4 Rossini and Piovesan, libero Gamba; for Messina coach Bonafede fields Galletti as director, Payne opposite him, Martinelli and Modestino in central positions, Rossetto and Battista in place 4, Maggipinto libero. Departure in p3 for Cremona, in p5 for Messina.

In the first set, Cremona was ahead and scored the first long rally (3-1) and a notable break of the match (5-2). A double winning attack by Rossetto and an error by Piovesan brought the game back to parity (5-5). Payne makes a mistake, Munarini places a block and coach Bonafede switches the American with Joly (8-5). Cremona always ahead, Messina follows; the new parity materializes thanks to an attack by Joly (12-12), while Rossetto scores the first overtaking of Messina (12-13). Cremona relies on Taborelli to prevent the guests from escaping, Ferrarini moves to the center and coach Bonafede calls the first time-out (15-13). Cremona asserts its strength in the center and on Munarini’s block, coach Bonafede also plays the other thirty seconds available (18-14). Two errors from Messina arrive and Rossini takes advantage of them to realize the maximum advantage (21-15). Coach Bonafede changes direction: Michelini in for Galletti. On Martinelli’s winning attack, a setter change also for Cremona: physical problem for Turlà and coach Zanelli forced to change, resorting to Balconati. Taborelli makes a mistake and Messina comes back behind (23-21). Coach Zanelli stops the game for the first time. Rossini takes care of closing the partial in favor of the hosts (25-22). Best scorers Ferrarini and Rossetto with 5 points; 9 errors for Cremona, 7 for Messina.

In the second set, Balconati was on the pitch as director for Cremona, replacing the injured Turlà, while Bonafede left Payne out, inserting Joly again and deploying Rossetto in the opposite role. Messina must recover the deficit of the first set and does so by raising the pace and finding incisiveness in the offensive phase. Battista and Joly make the difference and Messina takes the lead (5-9); coach Zanelli stops the game. Rossetto scores an ace and then lands the ball for Messina’s maximum lead (7-13). The Sicilians are not precise, Munarini drops her third personal block of the match and coach Bonafede calls a time-out (10-13). The guests are unable to attack effectively, Cremona takes advantage of this and reduces the deficit to just one point (13-14). On an invasion of the net, recognized by the second referee, the Lombard team grabbed an equalizer (15-15); Modestino takes care of quickly bringing Messina back ahead (15-16). To create a margin of separation from the hosts, a great shot by Joly along the line from place 4 and a subsequent block by Rossetto (17-20). The masterpiece of the match was signed by Valeria Battista in splendid pipe for the new plus three of Messina (18-21). Joly attacks a complicated ball off the net that the home defense can do nothing about; the same Aosta Valley athlete scores an ace shortly after (19-23). Battista, in attack, gives the Sicilians five set points: the first canceled out by Taborelli, the second is taken care of by Martinelli in a hurry to equalize the set deficit (20-25). Best scorer Joly with 10 points; at 8 in three: Rossetto, Battista and Taborelli. 15 errors for Cremona, 11 for Messina.

In the third set, sextets confirmed for the two coaches. Munarini blocks Battista at the start, Joly immediately brings everything back into balance (1-1). Galletti in block and Battista with power grab the triple advantage for Messina (1-4). Battista passes again, this time in cunning long support and, shortly after, forces coach Zanelli to call a time-out with a block that is worth the plus five Messina (2-7). Battista still on top when he finds the eighth point with an intelligent touch-out (2-8), Maggipinto flies everywhere on the taraflex and Modestino can close an exciting long-rally in his favor (2-9). Coach Zanelli understands Cremona’s moment of difficulty and tries to shake things up with a double change: Zorzetto takes over Rossini, Landucci replaces Ferrarini. Taborelli makes mistakes on serve and in attack, Rossetto intercepts the block effectively and coach Zanelli calls a time-out (3-14). Modestino make themselves heard in attack, Martinelli and Munarini on the block (6-16). Coveccia takes over Piovesan, Rossetto scores an ace (6-18). The hosts are unable to find solutions to counter Messina who with Battista, a block from Rossetto and Joly, takes home the partial (11-25). Battista is the best scorer with 14 points, followed by Joly with 12. 18 errors for Cremona, 19 for Messina.

In the fourth set, nothing changes in the sextets of the two teams compared to the previous set. Messina took the lead at the start (1-5). Break by Cremona in the turn serving Balconati and parity achieved by Piovesan (5-5). The Lombards make a mistake and Messina, with a winning attack by Joly, escapes with a plus three (6-9). Munarini and Rossini placed ace and block respectively, Taborelli a winning attack (9-9). Messina takes the lead again with Modestino in attack and a block from Rossetto and Martinelli (9-12). The yellow-blue tigers take control of the situation again and on Munarini’s block (13-13), coach Bonafede calls a time-out. We see Payne again in Rossetto’s place, while balance dominates on the pitch; we proceed point by point until Ferrarini’s wall and the new Messina time-out. Upon returning to the field, Ferrarini herself failed to gain the double advantage (21-21); Coach Bonafede brings Rossetto back in for Payne. Place 4 Joly and Battista take care of giving the decisive double advantage to Messina, Taborelli sends her one step away from the match. A block from Martinelli ends the contest (22-25). Best scorer of the match was Taborelli with 19 points, behind her the MVP of the match, Valeria Battista, with 18. 21 errors for Cremona, 27 for Messina.

Post-match, spiker Aurora Rossetto’s statements were: “We certainly expected a very difficult match due to the fact that we were playing away from home but also because the level inevitably rises in the Promotion Pool. At the beginning we started out a little tight and we weren’t able to lock them into what we actually saw on the video. Then, by settling down and being aggressive on the field, we managed to turn it around and bring it home. I’m very happy and we’re all happy with the season we’ve had so far. It’s right to think game by game because the journey is still very long.”