Date: 3 April 2019, 23:55
Source: CEV
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Reigning champions KAZAN win an epic battle over PERUGIA to give themselves a slight edge for the second match

In a meeting of greats Zenit KAZAN's top players Earvin Ngapeth and Matt Anderson got the better of PERUGIA's front runners Aleksandar Atanasijevic and Wilfredo Leon Venero. The Russian record 6-time CEV Volleyball Champions League - Men winners came out on top after a closely contested five-set match. After the final of 2017 and semi-final of last year's #CLVolleyM, Zenit KAZAN took a third win in a row against the Block Devils.

Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA (ITA) vs. Zenit KAZAN (RUS) 2-3 (22-25, 26-24, 25-27, 25-20, 13-15)

● The superstar of the first set was Earvin Ngapeth. The French spiker scored eight points and two winning aces (25-22).

● PERUGIA reacted. Aleksandar Atanasijevic was outstanding in attack (8 points scored). The decisive point in the second set was scored by Fabio Ricci’s block (26-24).

● The two teams fought hard during the third set, with both sides scoring three blocks each. KAZAN eventually won the third set 27-25.

● PERUGIA fought back in the fourth set led by Filippo Lanza and Aleksandar Atanasijevic. It was Lanza's attack that brought the match to the tie-break (25-20).

● It was a balanced tie-break until the end. Matthew Anderson scored the final point (15-13) to seal a 3-2 victory for the titleholders.

● Earvin Ngapeth was awarded MVP with 22 points scored. Top scorer of the match was Wilfredo Leon with 25.
Filippo Lanza, outside hitter for Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA: “Basically nothing missed tonight. With the benefit of hindsight, we could have maybe served better in some cases and we could have received better in others. It was a great volleyball match from both sides. To lose this game surely disturbs us, but we will do our best to win next Wednesday in Kazan.”

Matthew Anderson, outside hitter for Zenit KAZAN: “Our strength tonight was to forget about the big points. Leon, Atanasijevic, De Cecco and Lanza, they all played very well making big and spectacular points. We cannot get stuck on these moments. What we need today was to make one point and move to the next. Sometimes they served very strongly, making multiple points, but we cannot get frustrated because it is what the Champions League is all about. So it was a very good match and I hope that a good match will be played in Kazan next week too.”