Super Lega 2022 - News

Trentino 1705

Trentino captain Matey Kaziyski lifts the SuperLega trophy

Itas Trentino are back at the top of the podium in the SuperLega Credem Banca! Eight years after their most recent victory, the team from Northern Italy reclaimed the Scudetto in front of their home fans on Wednesday, prompting a massive celebration in Trento.

Trentino had their most dominant performance in the spectacular best-of-five series that decided the Italian League in the fifth and most important match, topping defending champions Cucine Lube Civitanova in straight sets (25-20, 25-20, 25-19) in a sold-out BLM Group Arena.

· All SuperLega Credem Banca matches are available on demand on VBTV.

Founded in 2000, Trentino lifted the Italian League trophy for the fifth time, adding to their previous title-winning campaigns of 2007-2008, 2010-2011, 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. Since the last triumph, the team had made it to the Finals once, in 2016-2017, when they fell to Lube.

Their triumph also capped off what was already a productive season for the club, which took silver at the 2022 FIVB Men’s Club World Championship and the Coppa Italia and bronze in the Italian SuperCup.

“This would have been a great season regardless of the outcome of this match, but obviously winning makes it much better,” said head coach Angelo Lorenzetti. “I told the guys that even if the victory would be the icing on the cake, if we lost we certainly shouldn’t throw the cake away. We have played in a lot of finals over the last few years and even if we didn’t win a lot of them, we still did a very good job. But now I’m happy to say that Trento are the Italian champions.”

In 2022-2023, the team coached by Lorenzetti finished in second place in the regular season with 14 wins in 22 matches. Trentino found their best rhythm in the playoffs, eliminating Vero Volley Monza (3-1) in the quarterfinals and Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza (3-2) in the semifinals before the amazing duel with Lube in the Scudetto Finals.

A member of Trentino’s squad in the first four victories, Bulgarian opposite Matey Kaziyski returned for his fourth stint with the club in 2021-2022 and got to lift the trophy of the team’s fifth Scudetto as the captain while also taking home the Most Valuable Player award for the Finals.

“What an amazing history it has been,” Kaziyski said. “We got so close to winning several titles during the last two years and came up a little bit short, but winning the Scudetto in the way we did is the most beautiful outcome we could hope for. I’m very emotional now.”

The 39-year-old veteran, who could be set to return for the Bulgarian national team for the first time in 11 years during the Volleyball Nations League 2023, scored 13 points in the final match of the season with nine kills, three aces and one block.

Besides him, the other multi-time Italian champions in the squad are middle blocker Marko Podrascanin, who has four titles (two with Lube and one with Perugia), and opposite Gabriele Nelli, who was with Trentino in 2014-2015.

The victory also marked the first Scudetto in the careers of Italian stars Alessandro Michieletto, Daniele Lavia and Riccardo Sbertoli, who helped their country win the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship.

“This is amazing,” Michieletto reacted. “It’s a dream I’ve had since I was a kid. I remember coming here and waving the flags for Kaziyski and his teammates and now we have done the same thing they did several years ago. We deserved it, the last two years with this group have been fantastic. I hope it’s just the start and that we can go for more in the next few years.”

The three were in great form on Wednesday, with Michieletto leading all scorers with 17 points (14 kills, three blocks), Lavia adding 11 points (eight kills, one ace, two blocks) and Sbertoli orchestrating Trentino’s offence and scoring the game-winning point on a setter dump.

For Lube, although the defeat in the fifth and decisive match against Trentino put an end to their dream of winning the SuperLega for a fourth-straight (and eighth overall) season, it certainly didn’t erase the brilliant campaign the team had.

The fourth-best team in the regular season (13 wins, nine losses), Lube staged brilliant comebacks against WithU Verona in the quarterfinals and Allianz Milano in the semifinals to make it to their sixth-straight SuperLega Finals. The team remained competitive even after making a major revamp in its squad with international stars Osmany Juantorena, Ricardo Lucarelli and Robertlandy Simon all departing at the end of the 2021-2022 season.

On Wednesday, the team felt the absence of star opposite Ivan Zaytsev, who was out with a shoulder injury. Young outside hitters Aleksandar Nikolov, with 12 points (all in kills), and Marlon Yant, with 11 (ten kills, one block), were Lube’s top scorers.

“We believed until the end, but we always knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” libero Fabio Balaso commented. “Trentino played a great match, creating difficulties with their serves and handling tough plays very well. It’s a shame that we lost, but we have nothing to be sad about. I’m very proud of my teammates as we made it to the Finals while not many people outside us expected.”

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Lega Pallavolo SuperLega Credem Banca
Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A1