Men's Club World Championship 2022 - News


Podrascanin was proud of Trentino's performance against Sada Cruzeiro in the semifinals

After securing the world title among national teams a few months ago, Italian volleyball is set to do the same at the club level as two teams from the country, Trentino Itas and Sir Safety Susa Perugia, will meet in the gold medal match of the 2022 Men’s Club World Champs in Betim, Brazil, on Sunday.

The deciding match between Trentino, who hold a record five world titles, and Perugia, who are looking to lift the trophy in their first appearance in the tournament, will start at 16:00 local time (19:00 GMT) at the Divino Braga Stadium.

Three hours earlier, Brazilian teams Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei, who have four world titles, including last year’s, and Itambé Minas, who will try to make their first podium appearance, will play each other in the bronze medal match.

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This will be just the third time two teams from the same country face each other in the Club World Championship gold medal match. Trentino were involved in one of the previous cases, as they claimed their fifth and most recent world title against fellow Italians Cucine Lube Civitanova in 2018. Another all-Italian final took place in 1992, when Milano topped Sisley Treviso

The gold medal match in Betim will reunite five players who were part of the squad that helped Italy win the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in September with outside hitters Alessandro Michieletto and Daniele Lavia and setter Riccardo Sbertoli lining up for Trentino and the tournament’s Most Valuable Player Simone Giannelli and middle blocker Roberto Russo representing Perugia.

After finishing in first place in Pool B with two wins, Trentino maintained their excellent form in the semifinals and crushed Sada Cruzeiro, giving the defending champions no chance in their straight-set (25-13, 25-22, 25-17) victory in the first semifinal of the night in Betim. The Italians, who took bronze in the tournament last year, comfortably outscored the Brazilians in kills (40 to 24), blocks (eight to two) and aces (nine to three) in their dominant display.

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Trentino’s world champion outside hitters both had spectacular performances in the team’s triumph. While the 21-year-old Michieletto tallied a match-high 16 points (11 kills, one block, four aces), the 23-year-old Lavia contributed 13, with 11 kills, one block and one ace.

“Last year we came here and won bronze, so it’s great to see that we’ve already improved at least one position,” middle blocker Marko Podrascanin reflected. “I’m very pleased with our performance tonight. Sada are the defending champions, I remember how well they played last year, and to be able to defeat them we had to play very well, which we did. Our serving and our passing were excellent and that allowed us to control the match. Our blocking was good too, but it's probably an area of the game in which we can improve for the final.”

The Most Valuable Player of last year’s edition of the Club World Championship, Cuban outside hitter Miguel Angel Lopez registered ten points (eight kills, two aces) for Sada Cruzeiro, as many as star opposite and team captain Wallace de Souza, who got his entire production through kills.


Rychlicki faces Minas' block during the second semifinal in Betim

In the second semifinal, Perugia extended their winning streak in the 2022-2023 season to 19 matches - they are on 11 wins in the Italian League, three at the Men's Club World Championship, three in the CEV Champions and two in the Italian Supercoppa. Showing strength, the Italians swept their opponents Minas 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-17) to make it to the final in their first appearance in the tournament. Perugia were better in kills (38 to 29), blocks (eight to two) and aces (eight to two).

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You can watch highlights on our YouTube channel & full matches on VBTV.

The Italian side had the four best scorers of the match, with Polish outside hitter Kamil Semeniuk scoring 15 points (nine kills, two blocks, four aces), compatriot and fellow outside hitter Wilfredo Leon registering 11 (ten kills, one block), Brazilian middle blocker Flavio Gualberto adding another 11 (eight kills, three blocks) and Luxembourg's opposite Kamil Rychlicki contributing nine (six kills, one block, two aces).

“It was a great result,” Rychlicki told Volleyball World. “I don’t think we played at our very best level, but I’m confident we’ll be able to do it tomorrow against Trentino. I expect a tough match and the high temperature here in Betim should make it even more complicated. We know them very well and they’ll for sure challenge us. I hope we can play a good match tomorrow.”

On Minas' side, Cuban outside hitter Luis Elian led the way with eight points (all in kills) while veteran opposite Leandro Vissotto and middle blocker Matheus 'Pinta' Bispo had six each.

Perugia have had great success against Trentino lately as the Italian Supercoppa winners have won eight of the last ten encounters between the two teams.

Sunday’s encounter in Betim will be the third between the Italian teams in 2022-2023. While Perugia were victorious in the first two duels, Trentino were one of just two teams to push the Italian League leaders to the tie-breaker in the season with their 3-2 defeat in the Italian Supercoppa semifinals.