FIVB Volleyball Club World Championships 2012

Press release

Zenit Kazan break Polish hearts to book Club World Championship berth

Russia's Zenit Kazan will now move on to the FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship where they will want to add to their two bronze medals from 2009 and 2011

Lodz, Poland, March 19, 2012 - Russian club Zenit Kazan became the latest team to book their ticket to the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship 2012 on Sunday after edging Poland’s PGE Skra Belchatow in five sets (25-15, 16-25, 22-25, 26-24, 17-15) in an electrifying CEV Volleyball Champions League final in Lodz.

Three-time club world champions Trentino sealed bronze, the Italian outfit scoring a straight sets (25-20, 25-19, 25-19) win over Turkey’s Arkas Izmir, who were the first side from their country to reach the Final Four of the tournament.

Hosts Skra failed to capitalise on three match points in the final, decisive set, gifting a ruthless Zenit their second Champions League crown, the first coming in 2008, and bouncing back from their loss to Trentino in last year’s gold-medal match.

The first set went Zenit’s way, with the home pressure of 13,000 fans proving daunting for Skra. However, they hit back in fine form during the second on the back of Bartosz Kurek’s fine serving efforts. They then marched into the lead by sealing the third set before Zenit reacted through the narrowest of margins in the fourth, taking the match to a fifth set.

Buoyed by the home fans, Skra went into the lead early on before Zenit clawed themselves back into the game. But once again Skra showed the kind of determination that has seen them reach two Club World Championships to take a two-point advantage. However, the fairytale ending failed to materialize as a block on star man Kurek handed the title to the Russian club.

Zenit Kazan will now have the chance to add the Club World Championship to their list of honours when they travel to Doha, Qatar from October 8 to 14. It will be the third time they will take on the world’s finest club teams after picking up the bronze in 2009 and 2012.

Individual awards   
MVP: Mariusz Wlazly (POL/PGE Skra BELCHATOW)
Best Blocker: Nikolay Apalikov (RUS/Zenit KAZAN)
Best Libero: Alexey Obmochaev (RUS/Zenit KAZAN)
Best Receiver: Michal Winiarski (POL/PGE Skra BELCHATOW)
Best Scorer: Maxim Mikhailov (RUS/Zenit KAZAN)
Best Server: Maxim Mikhailov (RUS/Zenit KAZAN)
Best Setter: Valerio Vermiglio (ITA/Zenit KAZAN)
Best Spiker: Bartosz Kurek (POL/PGE Skra BELCHATOW)

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