Path to the Super Finals: Trentino make it to the last act for the third time in the last four editions


Article Thu, Apr 25 2024
Author: Adrian Costeiu

Consistency has been the key ingredient over the past years for Trentino Itas, as the Italian powerhouse are in the final act of the CEV Champions League Men for the seventh time in the last 14 seasons, a remarkable show for a team which has won three titles and lost three finals so far.

Over the past four seasons, Trentino have made the Super Finals twice, losing as many times against Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle, 1:3 in 2021 and 0:3 in 2022, but the Italian side has another stab at stopping Poland’s streak of winning the European premium competition title, when they face Jastrzębski Węgiel on 5 May in Antalya.

Consistency has also been the name of the game for Trentino this season, with the Italian side dropping only two matches, but one of them after securing the Super Finals spot against Lube Cucine Civitanova, with the previous one coming early in the last match of the 4th round.

Until that loss, Trentino went on a five-match winning run, which saw the Italian side concede two sets in the first two matches against ACH Volley Ljubljana and Tours VB, but their 3:1 wins went without big hitches.

Three perfect matches followed, with wins against Asseco Resovia Rzeszów, Ljubljana and Tours continued, as Trentino geared up for the business end of the season, before finally conceding their first loss, 2:3, on their home court, against the Polish side, but that came after they had clinched the first spot in their pool and, subsequently, a quarter-finals berth.

For the third season in a row, Trentino faced German side Berlin Recycling Volleys in the quarter-finals and for the third season in a row the Italian powerhouse faced no issues, winning both matches in straight sets, 3:0.

The first leg was clearly dominated by Trentino, which went on a spree, with clear wins in all sets, 25:18, 25:17, 25:17, while Berlin limited the damage in the second leg, where Trentino rotated its players, with only Kamil Rychlicki boasting at least 10 points in the 3:0 (25:19, 25:20, 25:22) win.

The hardest challenge for Trentino on their way to the Super Finals came in the semi-finals of this season’s CEV Champions League Men, where the Italian side had a well-known rival, Cucine Lube Civitanova, another Italian powerhouse, with the clashes between them providing two exciting matches.

The pair of Rychlicki and Alessandro Michieletto delivered an absolutely fantastic match, scoring nearly 50% of their team’s points in the first leg, as the outside hitters combined for 42 points in Trentino’s 3:1 win, with Trentino dropping only the second set, 16:25, before bouncing back in style in front of their own fans, with a 25:18 and 25:23 wins in the third and the fourth sets.

Therefore, Trentino needed to win only two sets in the second leg, but the first one went to Lube, 26:24, as the pressure started to mount on the current Super Finalists. With Michieletto and Daniele Lavia combining for 26 points, the next two sets were dominated by Trentino, which never relinquished the lead in any of them and went on a clear path, 25:20 and 25:22, to clinch the win and progress to the Super Finals, in spite of their 2:3 loss.

Now, Trentino will face Jastrzębski Węgiel, as they aim to tie other two Italian sides, Modena and Treviso, as the only sides in history with four titles in the European premium competition.