ATLANTIC MAGLIA ModenaVolley Trento CAMPIONATO (57)(1)

Nimir Abdel-Aziz soars high to serve as Modena break clear in second place of the Italian league standings.

France's Earvin Ngapeth and the Netherlands' Nimir Abdel-Aziz high-scored twice this week to shoot Modena up amongst the leaders of the Italian men's league after back-to-back wins on the road against Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia and Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza.

Abdel-Aziz pounded away five aces and gathered a total match high of 24 points to keep Modena alive and deny Piacenza a full comeback on Sunday for a nail-biting 3-2 (25-22, 25-18, 18-25, 23-25, 15-13) win.

Ngapeth and Cuba-born Brazilian Yoandy Leal added another 18 points, combining with Abdel-Aziz and the faultless attacking (7/7) of Dragan Stankovic to counter the 21 points for Piacenza from match MVP Toncek Stern of Slovenia.

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Earlier in the week, Ngapeth had scored 21 points with a 59% (16/27) attacking efficiency plus four blocks and an ace to power Modena to a 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22) win on the road over Vibo Valentia.

The two wins bring Modena into second place in the standings - though still not really threatening to table leaders Sir Safety Conad Perugia - with two matches extra compared to third-placed defending champions Cucine Lube Civitanova and one more than fourth-ranked Itas Trentino.

They extend Modena's winning streak to 13 matches, including in Europe's CEV Cup (ten in the league itself).

Midweek and weekend action in the Italian league included a mix of a limited number of matches from across various Rounds of the Regular Season, following the postponement of several games due to Covid-19 cases within teams.

Allianz of Milan also scored two wins this week, both at home, first taking care of Piacenza 3-1 (31-29, 23-25, 25-22, 25-18) and then crushing Vibo Valentia 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-13).

USA's Thomas Jaeschke led the scoring in both matches, bagging 19 points against Piacenza and 16 against Vibo Valentia - though middle blocker Matteo Piano was named MVP of the match in the first case (after three blocks and 8/11 for 73% in attack) and setter Paolo Porro picked up the individual award in the second.

In the only other match of the week, the Czech Republic's Donovan Dzavoronok scored a match a high of 32 points win an impressive 65% (28/43) in attack as he led Vero Volley Monza to a thrilling 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-18, 15-10) away win over Gioiella Prisma Taranto.

Three more players scored in the twenties, with Belarus' Vlad Davyskiba adding another 22 for Monza, as Giulio Sabbi bagged 22 and Luigi Randazzo 20 for Taranto.

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