FIVB Men's World Championship 2022, News.


Italian players celebrate an excellent performance against Slovenia

Three-time FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship winners Italy will challenge defending champions Poland in the gold medal match of the 2022 edition of the tournament after the reigning European champions topped co-hosts Slovenia in straight sets (25-21, 25-22, 25-21) in the second semifinal played in Katowice, Poland, on Saturday.

Italians and Poles, who have also won the tournament three times, will play each other for the title of the 20th edition of international volleyball's flagship event on Sunday, in Katowice, at 21.00 local time (19.00 GMT). It will be the 28th encounter between the European giants in major international events and the Poles have been more successful so far, with 16 victories.

Earlier, at 18.00 local time (16.00 GMT), Slovenia and Brazil will play for bronze.

· Watch all FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship 2022 matches live on Volleyball TV.

Back in a World Championship gold medal match for the first time since 1998, when the country’s golden generation won its third-straight title, the team coached by Ferdinando De Giorgi dominated Slovenia in their semifinal duel, outscoring their continental rivals in kills (41 to 36), benefiting from more errors (24 to 17), tying in aces (two to each side) and ranking slightly behind in blocks (eight to nine).

“It’s incredible,” setter and captain Simone Giannelli reacted. “I honestly didn’t think it was possible for us to win this match 3-0 because Slovenia are a very strong team and I respect them a lot. I’m very happy about this result and for our group. We are a young team and I think we have a lot of good things coming in the future. But we have a final in front of us now and we have to focus on the present. It will be a difficult match for us but we’ll try to do our best and battle them.”

Outside hitter Daniele Lavia, 22, was the semifinal match top scorer with 15 points. Hitting at a 47.84% efficiency rate, he produced all of his points in kills. Opposite Yuri Romanò came right behind with 12 (ten kills, one block, one ace), while outside hitter Alessandro Michieletto added another nine (eight kills, one block).

On the Slovenian side, outside hitter Klemen Čebulj led the way with 14 points (11 kills, three blocks). Team captain and fellow outside hitter Tine Urnaut tallied 11 (ten kills, one ace) and 20-year-old Rok Možič, who came off the bench at the opposite position, chipped in another nine (all in kills).


The 22-year-old Lavia was very efficient at the net

Italy had a strong start in the opening set, quickly building a 7-1 lead. The entrance of Možič evened things and Slovenia brought the difference down to a single point at 13-12 when Michieletto spiked out. A couple of blocks from middle blocker Simone Anzani and Romanò placed the Italians in a comfortable position (19-14) again and, even if the Slovenians fought back with an ace from captain Urnaut, the European champions were still able to win 25-21.

The second set had a more even start, with no team creating a separation of more than two points. Italy started to take control when Lavia tooled the Slovenian block to bring a long rally to an end and score 15-12. The Slovenians kept fighting until the end, but weren’t able to catch the Italians, who won the set 25-22 after a missed serve.

As in the first set, Italy took control early in the third, with Anzani blocking in the middle to give his team a 4-0 lead. The Slovenians slowly recovered and they counted on back-to-back blocks from Čebulj to tie the set at 16 points. However, Romanò put the ball on the Slovenian court in a transition play to give the Italians a two-point lead at 19-17. It was also the opposite who scored the game-winning point 25-21 with a powerful spike.