CEV Champions League Volley 2021 Men
CEV Champions League Volley 2021 Men
Trentino Itas reach the Champions League Super Final after securing two sets against Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia. Following a straight-set victory in their first semifinal encounter, Trentino did not require to win the game as long as they would have won the two sets. Perugia stepped up to the challenge taking a 2-0 lead, but Trentino pushed back in the fourth set, securing their Super Final ticket after winning that part of the match. Perugia ended the match with a victory, but the ultimate goal landed at the hands of the team from Trento.
Sir Sicoma Monini Perugia (ITA) vs. Trentino Itas (ITA)
3-2 (25-22, 25-17, 23-25, 17-25, 15-6)
Semifinals - Away Match
The game started with both teams going head to head until a block on Oleh Plotnytskyi makes it 10-12 for Trento. Lorenzetti’s team did not enjoy the lead for long when the score soon turns on its head into a 13-12 for Perugia. Thijs Ter Horst brought back his serving form to keep his team at 15-13 and Plotnytskyi followed with his own serve, including two aces in a row for 18-14. Trentino called a time out and slowly and patiently decreased the gap to 21-20. A single block by Sebastian Sole extends Perugia’s gap to 23-30 and the hosts take the first set when Nimir Andel-Aziz serve long at 25-22.
Ter Horst shines at the serve yet again, with an ace to give Perugia first lead in the 2nd set at 7-6. Trentino level at 7-7, but are soon forced to call a time out when Perugia continue to push and go 10-8 ahead. Things seem to be working in all elements on the hosts side, as Wilfredo Leon adds a point to keep Perugia at 13-10. Lorenzetti calls the second time out, when Perugia turn the score into a four-point gap at 15-11. Ter Horst maintain his flawless performance at the serve with another ace, while Sole adds a successful spike to keep Perugia at 18-13. The hosts turn up the heating around Trentino, with Sole taking the lead in this part of the match, with the help of Plotnytskyi who deliver a great service run of his own. Leon ends the set at 25-17 with a diagonal spike, putting Perugia 2-0 ahead.
The good form that accompanied Leon in the second set was transferred into the third one, as he scored an ace serve at 5-5 for Perugia. But Ricardo Lucarelli can shine at the service line too, as he helps Trentino to go 6-7 ahead. Two back to back blocks - on Lucarelli and Lisinac - put Perugia in front at 12-10, forcing Trento to call a time out. Trentino learned the lesson of the previous set and keep much closer to the hosts and don’t allow Perugia to go further than two points ahead. Nimir Abdel-Aziz shows off a great swing spike for 18-16, followed by a bit of luck when Ter Horst spikes long. Lisinac hits the ball over Sole and the score goes level at 18-18. The scoring continues on Trento’s side when Lucarelli puts his team ahead at 18-19, but the run stops when Perugia put a monster double block on the Brazilian. Trentino did not allow it to distract them as they soon go 20-22 ahead after an ace from Abdel-Aziz. Perugia keep cool and level at 22-22 with another block on Lucarelli, but Trentino get a set point at 22-24 and take the set at 23-25.
It was a now-or-never set for Perugia, who had to win it in order to prolong their chances to reach the Champions League Super Final. Trentino were just as motivated to secure their ticket by winning this set and led by Abdel-Aziz they soon went 7-11 ahead. Perugia seemed to be falling apart, when both Leon and Ter Horst both make mistakes in attack, allowing Trento to go 8-14. The score turns into 10-17 as everything works on Trento side, but Perugia suddenly creeps back in with 3 points, including an ace from Leon. As the gap melts into three-points at 15-18, Perugia hand on a thin thread, trying to find their way back in. Lucarelli and Marko Podrascanin seize their chances with powerful spikes keeping Trento at 15-20. The crucial set point came at 17-24 and Lisinac wasted no time to seal the deal for his team, as Trento secure the Super Final spot!
A very silent hall welcomed teams back on court during the fifth set and despite the lost chance to reach another phase of the competition, Perugia did not give up the match easily and attempted to finish this round with a win. The hosts soon took a significant leap at 7-2 and maintained it at 9-3. Ter Horst took charge of Perugia’s offensive play and his team wrap up the tie-breaker at 15-6.
“It was a really difficult match, we knew that coming here is always hard, because Perugia is a team that never gives up and we saw that today. In the first two sets, even the third we were in big trouble, we were not fluid in the game. The moment we won the third set was the moment when we were not blocked anymore, when we started to play good. We are in the Finals and that is amazing because beating Perugia is hard, especially in two games. It was a goal of ours and now we are happy.”
Nimir Abdel-Aziz was named MVP of the match after he contributed 17 points for Trentino, including 15 winning spikes, 1 block and 1 ace
Wilfredo Leon was the top scorer of the match with 21 points (18 spikes and 3 aces) for Perugia. His teammate Thijs Ter Horst scored 15 points (13 winning spikes and 2 aces)
Perugia performed well collectively in service and block, scoring 9 and 12 points respectively in those elements
Trentino also had a good blocking run with 9 points scored by the team
“Everything was going the right way. We played good in the third set too and maybe that was the chance we had to catch. We believed in this match and tonight we are clearly disappointed with ourselves. On the other hand I am anyway proud of what we did tonight, because we have been always focused on the match. Now we have to think to the Italian Championship”