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Italian men's Superleague lined up for thrilling restart

Sebastian Sole attacks before the Perugia block of Robertlandy Simon and Kamil Rychlicki as he helps Sir Safety Conad Perugia to triumph in the final of the Italian Supercup, just ahead of the start of the 2020-21 Italian League.
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 26, 2020 - Volleyball fans in Italy and across the globe can again get their fix of the world's premier domestic volleyball competition, as the Italian Superleague gets off on Sunday, bringing together some of the most inspiring players the sport has to offer.

Cucine Lube Civitanova, the defending champions and leaders of the standings when last season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, open their campaign on Monday, away to NBV Verona, as they contemplate their sixth national championship title.

The reigning world, European and Italian champions are lining up a host of international stars, including the likes of Brazil's Cuba-born Yoandy Leal, Cuba's Robertlandy Simon and Argentina's Luciano De Cecco (the latter having moved this season from Sir Safety Perugia). This is in addition to some of their formidable Italian internationals such as Cuba-born Osmany Juantorena and Czech-born Jiri Kovar.

But Leo Shoes Modena, record title-holders at 12, are also looking to extend their record and get back on the throne for the first time since 2016.

Modena take to the courts again on Sunday hosting Vero Volley Monza at the PalaPanini, with USA's Micah Christenson, Serbia's Nemanjia Petric (who transferred from Milan) and France's Jenia Grebennikov (who moved over from Trentino), alongside Italian stars Luca Vettori (also from Trentino this season) and Daniele Mazzone leading the squad.

Perugia have an even more impressive lineup ready to inspire their fans. The finalists of this year's Supercup, which opened the men's season in Italy on Friday, feature Canada's Sharone Vernon-Evans, the Netherlands' Thijs ter Horst (over from Porto Robur Costa this season), Poland's Cuban-born Wilfredo Leon, Argentina's Sebastian Sole (transferred from BluVolley Verona) and Serbia's Aleksandar Atanasijevic amongst their foreign stars, not to mention domestic talent such as Filippo Lanza and Massimo Colaci.

And indeed, Perugia gave a preview of what they have up their sleeve this season, as they edged Lube 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 25-19, 19-25, 16-14) in the final of the Supercup, Friday night in Verona - just two days before the start of the League.

Leon was instrumental in Perugia's win (finished in grand style with a block by Sole on Juantorena for match point), scoring a match high of 31 points, with Ukraine's Oleh Plotnytskyi adding another 14 and Sole 13.

The 2020-21 edition, 77th since the first in 1946, of the Italian League features 12 teams. The Regular Season runs until 14 February, to be followed by the Playoffs.

More information on the Italian Volleyball League website.

Quick links:
FIVB.com - Volleyball

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