Sir Safety Susa Perugia and Trentino Itas, two of the top teams in Italian volleyball, will soon be able to participate in Europe’s top club tournament, the CEV Champions League. Europe will be represented by the Italian teams in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship in Betim, Brazil, from December 7th through 11th, 2022. Trentino, the most successful side in the event’s history, will be a seasoned veteran, while Perugia will be making their tournament debut.
Trentino and Perugia, as the runners-up and third-place finishers, respectively, in the Champions League, will be responsible for protecting the honor of their continent during the tournament. In the semi-finals of the continental tournament in March and April, the two teams played each other twice, each time prevailing in five sets on the road. The match ended in a 17-15 golden set won by Trentino.
Sir Safety Susa Perugia have yet to lose a game this season despite keeping just nine players from last year’s squad, adding five new players, and having Andrea Anastasi take over as head coach. They have a perfect 8-0 record in SuperLega Credem Banca, and a 2-0 record in their Champions League group. They just won the Supercoppa Italiana.
Simone Giannelli, who was named MVP of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship 2022, re-signed with Perugia for the next season. Gregor Ropret, the Slovenian national team’s setter, has joined the squad after transferring from Cambrai Volley of France.
Meanwhile, Jesus Herrera of Cuba vies with Kamil Rychlicki of Luxembourg for the role of Anastasi’s opposite in their starting lineup. Following two seasons with the French team Chaumont 52 Haute Marne, Herrera transferred to Italian side Perugia.
Perugia’s squad has two Cubans: Wilfredo Leon, a Polish player born in Cuba, and Julio Cardenas, a former star for another French club, Tourcoing Lille Metropole, who just made the transfer to Italy. Ukrainian talent Oleh Plotnytskyi remained at Sir as one of the club’s four outside defenders, while Polish national team standout Kamil Semeniuk moved to Perugia from European winners ZAKSA.
Brazilian international Flavio Gualberto joined the team from Tonno Callipo Calabria Vibo Valentia, joining returning middle blocks Sebastian Sole (Argentina) and Roberto Russo and Stefano Mengozzi (Italy).
Massimo Colaci and Alessandro Piccinelli, both Italians, are still available as liberos for the club.
However, Trentino has participated in all but three Club World Championships since the tournament was revived in 2009. This is going to be their tenth time taking part in this worldwide competition. With the exception of 2014, when they finished in fourth place, they have medaled in eight of their previous nine outings, with five being gold and three being bronze. Trentino won three of their four matches in straight sets last year, while their only loss came in the semifinals, a match they lost in a thrilling 21-19 tie-breaker against fellow Italians Cucine Lube Civitanova.
Although there have been some changes to Coach Angelo Lorenzetti’s roster, the starting lineup is mostly same from the previous year. Setter Riccardo Sbertoli, outsides Alessandro Michieletto and Daniele Lavia, and middle blocks Marko Podrascanin and Srecko Lisinac are all recent world winners with the Italian national team. Matey Kaziyski, a Bulgarian star and captain, is leading the team this season after moving to the other side of the court to play for Lavia.
Oreste Cavuto, an Italian outside back, and Wout D’Heer, a Belgian midfielder, have both re-signed with the club.
Trentino has added a number of talented players, including Italian opposite Gabriele Nelli (from Vibo Valentia) and Czech outside Donovan Dzavoronok (from Vero Volley Monza). All of the other new players are young Italian talents: setter Niccolo Depalma, middle blocker Martin Berger, and liberos Domenico Pace and Gabriele Laurenzano.
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On Sunday, following a tough five-set Supercoppa semifinal three weeks earlier, Perugia defeated Trentino 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 27-25, 25-13) at home in the SuperLega Credem Banca.
Wilfredo Leon scored 20 points, including five blocks and two aces, to lead all players. Gualberto racked up 13 points throughout the match thanks to a total of five kill blocks and a total of kills. Rychlicki scored 16 points while Semeniuk added 10 to help Perugia win. Trentino was led by Lavia’s 19 points (including four aces) and Michieletto’s 13 points.
As of right now, the two squads are atop the SuperLega rankings. To this day, Perugia has yet to lose any of their eight matches, putting them in first place with 24 points. Trentino is in second place with 16 points with a 5-4 record.
In Pool A of the Club World Cup in Betim, Italy’s Perugia will face two Brazilian clubs. Both Volei Renata Campinas and Sada Cruzeiro Volei, the reigning champions, are on the schedule for the 8th and 9th of December, respectively. Across the pool in Pool B, Trentino will open against the Iranian club champions Paykan Tehran before facing Itambe Minas Belo Horizonte of Brazil.