Trentino retain Italian Cup crown with 3-1 victory over Macerata
It was Trentino’s third title overall. The match was reminiscent of their V-Day contest in April, with Trentino winning the first two sets and Macerata fighting their way back into the match in the third. But this time, Radostin Stoytchev’s players managed to stay in contention in the fourth and at 23-23 were able to finish off their opponents with a score from Mitar Djuric and a service winner from Matey Kaziyski that was unreturnable after clipping the net.
Trentino’s main weapons were Emanuele Birarelli’s jump float serve, which produced five aces, the spikes of Kaziyski and Osmany Juantorena, and the finesse of setter Raphael, who was named MVP.
Kaziyski was the top scorer for Trentino, who claimed their fourth successive FIVB Club World Championship title by beating Sada Cruzeiro in October, with 17 points, although that total was eclipsed by the 25 points of Macerata opposite Ivan Zaytsev.
Trentino’s Andrea Bari admitted the match was tight.
“We know they are as good as us and sometimes even stronger,” he conceded. “Now we’re tied 2-2 in the finals. The challenge goes on. All the bench players worked extremely hard during the week; they often deserve more credit than they get.”
“We had to play great as a team to win this one and we never gave up, not even when (Jan) Stokr got injured,” said Kaziyski. “And then we had a little bit of luck in the fourth, which is always nice to have on your side.”
The Finals featured video replays, which were shown on the large screens at the Mediolanum Forum.
In the final, both teams asked for video confirmation five times. Only one decision was overturned.
Overall, in the two-day Finals, the Video Check was requested 13 times. On nine occasions, the umpire’s decision was correct, while in the other four instances, the decisions were reversed.