Trentino Volley has a rather recent, yet strongly rooted history. It was 23rd May 2000 when Diego Mosna, an entrepreneur in paper production, decided to take a big and important step: along with his Holding Diatec and friend and councillor Alberto Ciurletti, he decided to buy A1 league sport rights from the team Porto Ravenna and bring volleyball to Trentino Alto Adige. During the previous ten years, Mezzolombardo was Trentino’s main team and it was able to reach A2 league in a short period of time as well as bring many people closer to this sport.
Diego Mosna was sponsor of that very team with his Diatec brand and he wanted to believe in a movement that was getting more and more exciting for the province, that had never reached such high levels in an important sport like volleyball. To do this, Diego Mosna turned to Gruppo Itas Assicurazioni for support, since the group was already main sponsor for Mezzolombardo. The chairman of the group, Mr. Edo Benedetti (see photo on the left with Mosna and Alberto Ciurletti) soon became the team’s biggest fan and ITAS main sponsor of the team during its first thirteen years of life.
ITAS Diatec’s first season in A1 league started in 2000/01 and was accompanied by the opening of the new PalaTrento stadium (where the team would play all at home games). The opening took place on occasion of the first at home game against Padua with an audience of almost 3000 people. The team was able to consider itself safe on the penultimate day and the club closed the championship in twelfth position. Giombini, Goriuochev, Mester and Boskan were the first star players to wear the yellow-blue t-shirt and contribute to the team’s confirmation in premier league. There were also two Trentino players however: middle player Alberto Marcolini and the very young opposite hitter Matteo Burgsthaler who would return ten years later as middle player after a long period spent between B1 and A2, making him a key player for the Italian cup in 2012 and championship in 2013.
The whole project became even more solid during the following 2001/2002 season when Paolo Tofoli joined in, already having been world champion in the Italian team twice. Itas Diatec Trentino gained access to the Final Four of the Italian cup but after ending this experience at the semi-finals at the Assago forum, it failed its minimum goal of reaching the championship playoffs.
At the end of the season, President Diego Mosna felt it was time for new energy and decided to invest even more resources also thanks to the participation of Grundig among the main sponsors. Coach Bruno Bagnoli (already sports trainer during the first two seasons) could count on excellent players for the 2002/03 season: the Russians Choulepov and Kazakov, opposite hitter Sartoretti and libero Sorcinelli to join Fortunato and Tofoli. Another star player would soon come along too: Mister Secolo Lorenzo Bernardi. The strongest player in the world (in the photo on the left with the Itas Diatec Trentino shirt) who won everything with the Italian team and with Sisley Treviso. Since Bernardi was actually born in Trento he immediately became the symbol of the team and initially lead it towards many victories before having to deal with injuries that compromised his activity. The team was eliminated at the quarter finals during the Italian cup against Bolzano (organized by Trentino Volley) and was defeated in the Italian championship by the Italian champion team Modena after five strongly fought final quarter games.
Season 2003/04 would certainly lead the team towards a more important achievement when professor Silvano Prandi arrived in replacement of Bruno Bagnoli. The team was organized similarly to the previous season but the results were certainly different. Strongly driven by Bernardi and Sartoretti (who had just won the European championship with the Italian team) Itas Diatec Trentino won the regular season placing itself as the main favourite for the championship. The attack to the playoff however was unlucky and compromised by injuries that forced Sartoretti, Bernardi and Kazakov to stay on the bench. The team was eliminated at the quarter finals by Cuneo during the Italian Cup and had to also give up during four games against Perugia saying goodbye to the flag. During the summer of 2004 the two Russians Choulepov and Kazakov went back home and Lorenzo Bernardi left the team at the end of his contract to go to Macerata.
It was the beginning of a new revolution that brought a new star into the team in season 2004/05: Cristian Savani. He was assisted by the expert Goran Vujevic. There was also space in the team for the German middle player Stefan Huebner. Things got immediately tough for the team however due to an early elimination from the Challenge Cup (first important participation in a European cup for the club) and the Italian cup against Sisley Treviso. After a tough defeat in Montichiari, trainer Silvano Prandi was replaced by the trainer of the youth sector, Andrea Burattini. Not long to go before the end of the regular season and the beginning of the promising. Trento placed itself in eighth position but still managed to score 2-0 in the quarter finals against Piacenza before being defeated by the team from Emilia and leaving after the first round of the play offs.
During season 2005/06 Burattini was second coach whereas the first coach was Brazilian Radames Lattari, who was already coach of the Brazilian national team. Tofoli, Sartoretti, Vujevic, Sorcinelli and Huebner left the team and were replaced by Meoni, Andrè Nascimento (opposite hitter who played in the Brazilian national team that was world champion), Morsut, Bari and the Dutch Kooistra. The new team, created by the General Manager Giuseppe Cormio who arrived from Padua like Meoni and Morsut, was definitely younger and more fascinating and didn’t have to wait long for satisfying results. Trento was present in the most crucial moments and earned itself access to the Final Four of the Italian cup for the second time, overtaking Macerata in the quarter finals. For the first time it also passed the first playoff round eliminating Modena (in the photo to the left the team’s happiness at PalaPanini after the qualification). During the semi-finals of both competitions however the team was eliminated by Cuneo, playing for the Cup and by Treviso during the playoffs. This didn’t get the team down however, since it was the best season of all times.
Radames Lattari was confirmed for season 2006/07 but had to do without Savani, replaced by Cosimo Gallotta. The arrival of the young and talented Polish player Winiarski was an important moment for the team just like the arrival of Riccardo Michieletto in the team management. He arrived as Team Manager (he still is today) after having been a player between 2002 and 2003. Not many satisfactions that year for the team that didn’t qualify for the Italian cup and only managed to qualify at the playoffs towards the very end before being eliminated by Cuneo during the quarter finals.
In 2007 team President, Mosna, and the General Manager Beppe Cormio started working on the team that would give way to the most important period for Trentino Volley. Once Radames Lattari had left, the idea was to call someone absolutely unknown and the Bulgarian Radostin Stoytchev seemed to be the answer they were looking for. He also brought Sergio Busato with him who was chosen as second coach. Both of them came from Dinamo Mosca. Other important and top level players arrived: the Bulgarian opposite Vlady Nikolov and his extremely talented fellow Matey Kaziyski who had excellent physical abilities and who had worked with the two coaches in Moscow. The team then included Nikola Grbic (from Piacenza, where Meoni went), the middle player Jeroncic and Birarelli from Verona. This decision would turn out to be very important for the future. Season 2007/08 started under a good star: Trento immediately reached the top of the rankings but was eliminated at the quarter finals of the Italian cup defeated by Treviso. The championship playoff accessed after winning the regular season allowed it to climb the ladder again. The team made no more mistakes until the final, where it settled with Modena and Rome, great favourite of the championship. The final against Piacenza was nothing to be sure of until the end: after one win for each team they reached a tie-break played at PalaTrento on 7th May 2008. Trento won 3-0 earning itself its first championship in its history (celebrations in photo).
The city was absolutely volleyball crazy. Lines of cars went around the city reaching Piazza Duomo where the celebrations took place. Season 2008/09 started with a goodbye to Nikolov, one of the main players of the championship, who was replaced by the Brazilian Vissotto. The season was influenced by the early elimination at the quarter finals of the Italian cup against Sisley Treviso but was still unforgettable thanks to the victory in the Champions League, with twelve victories out of fourteen games.
The season ended on 4th April 2009 in Prague during the final against the Greek team Iraklis Salonicco; more than one thousand fans came to the Czech Republic on the occasion. Success at the European level would then lead to many international successes (photo to the left celebrations at the O2 arena in Prague). As regards the championship, the team was successful right to the final when, to its great disappointment, the qualification went to Piacenza that won the fifth and final game at the PalaTrento stadium, once again all sold out and full of fans.
During the following 2009/10 season, the run for the championship ended at the final game: on V-Day, the only game for the Italian qualification, played in Bologna, Itas Diatec Trentino was defeated by Cuneo after having dominated the season in Italy and in the world. Two great players such as Winiarski and Grbic (who went to Cuneo) left the team that was however joined by Brazilian Raphael and fantastic Italian-Cuban hitter Osmany Juantorena, who are the strongest couple of players in the world with Kaziyski as new captain. The team was lead once more by Stoytchev and won everything there was to win except for the championship. In October 2009 it was time for the first Club world qualification, organized by the FIVB in Doha (Qatar) with all winning clubs from each continent. This episode was followed by the first Italian cup in Montecatini and by the second Champions League, won in Lodz (Poland) defeating Dinamo Mosca. Unfortunately Raphael was not able to give his contribution in the final part of the season due to a fracture to his right hand, being therefore replaced by Polish player Zygadlo.
After two lost finals in a row, the race to victory started again in 2010/11 which was definitely the team’s best season ever. In the meanwhile the team acquired Czech player Jan Stokr to replace Vissotto as opposite. Besides the championship, that the team won on V-Day in Rome against Cuneo, its list of victories included the second Club world championship in Doha and the third Champions League at the PalaOnda stadium in Bolzano (photo to the right Kaziyski lifts the trophy). Trentino Volley was assigned the much-wanted organization of the European Final Four bringing great international volleyball into the city of Bolzano. The victory over Kazan’s Russians was certainly the highest peak of the team proving its abilities not only in achieving its victories but also in its organizational skills and was dedicated to Alberto Ciurletti who had died just a few days before.
During season 2011/12, General Manager Cormio decided to let Sala and Brazilian Riad go, to bring in Djuric, a promising Greek middle player. Stoytchev’s team immediately won the third Club world championship in Doha and the Italian supercup for the first time. In February the team won the Italian cup but then lost in the semi-final against Kazan in Champions League in the Final Four in Lodz. It also lost in the fifth set of the championship final against Macerata, played at the Forum di Milano during the last edition of the V-Day. It was a tough defeat also because just a few days before the V-Day the team had to say goodbye to its biggest fan, Edo Benedetti, who died at the age of 90.
The team opened season 2012/13 with the same players as the previous season and immediately started to win once again. The team was victorious in Qatar in the Club world cup (in the photo to the right celebrations in Piazza Duomo) whereas in Milan the team took revenge for its defeat against Macerata on V-Day winning the Italian cup for the second time in a row. On the other hand, the Champions League didn’t give much satisfaction: Juantorena and fellows were eliminated during the last sixteen by Dinamo Mosca and entered the Final four for the first time. The team concluded the season with its third championship returning to Trento after five final games played against Piacenza. The hero of the season was Giacomo Sintini: a setter who returned to sports after a year and a half of interruption to fight his battle against cancer and finding himself in a team of 5 due to Raphael’s hand injury. “Jack” was fearless leading his team to victory at the PalaTrento stadium on 12th May 2013 lifting not only the trophy into the air but also the qualification as best player.
2013/14 was a season strongly influenced by the departure of Kaziyski, Juantorena, Raphael, Stokr, Djuric, Bari and Stoytchev, coach of the many victories, and by the exit of Itas Assicurazioni as main sponsor. After the first thirteen seasons as sponsor of the team and associating its brand to Trentino and Italian volleyball, the insurance company decided to dedicate its time to the youth sector. The team’s new name is now “Diatec Trentino”, and is assisted by President Mosna’s group and the local Trentino marketing company which is now title sponsor. A new era began for the team in which the vice-coach Roberto Serniotti actually became the main coach and the role of captain was assigned to Birarelli. American setter Donald Suxho was responsible for the team that included three strong foreign players, like the Bulgarian opposite Tsvetan Sokolov, Portuguese Ferreira and the Argentinian Solé, but also especially young Italians like Filippo Lanza, Michele Fedrizzi and Antonio Da Paola who are the fruitful results of the great deal of work put into the youth sector over the years. In 2013 Trento placed itself third in the Club world cup (in the photo the team on the podium) played in Brazil but only after having won yet another trophy: on 9th October captain Birarelli, central player of the Italian national team, lifted the first trophy of the new era when the team won the Italian Supercup at the PalaTrento stadium defeating Macerata. In January 2014 the club strengthened its organizational structure even more including the position of general manager. This position was assigned to Bruno Da Re, historical manager of Italian volleyball, who had just concluded a long experience in Modena after winning against Treviso. A fantastic victory against Modena at the end of January lead Diatec Trentino to the final four of the Italian cup where it was defeated in the semi-finals by Piacenza that won the cup. As regards the Champions League, only various injuries and the Russian team Belgorod (considered the strongest team in the world) could have eliminated Trento from the quarter finals. The season finale wasn’t very lucky: the team was defeated by Modena at the quarter finals of the championship playoff and was invited to participate in the Club World cup in 2014 (played in May at Belo Horizonte) but was defeated in the first rounds.
The season 2014/15 is the one that sees the Trentino Volley returning to levels of excellence in all competitions in which it takes part. To help revitalize the Company of via Trener there are the return to Trento of all the most important successes’ coach, Radostin Stoytchev, and two iconic players of the previous Yellow-blues epic the spiker Matey Kaziyski and the setter Lukasz Zygadlo. The team created in the summer along with the General Manager Bruno Da Re starts with the underdogs but in a short time is able to get many satisfactions, constantly keeping inviolate the PalaTrento (at the end of the year will be conquered only once, from Moscow, in twenty-four official games) and gaining quickly the most noble positions of the ranking of the fledgling Super League (the format that replaced the traditional A1 Series Championship). In late December, Diatec Trentino gets the title of the winter champion surpassing at photofinish Modena thanks to the home victory in the match 3-0 and has already won the qualification to the Final Four of Italian Cup. In parallel it goes smoothly even the European path in CEV Cup (the Yellow-blues Club is back to play it after ten years since the last time and after six consecutive participations in the Champions League). Kaziyski, well backed by Lanza and Nemec, leads his own teammates until the final of the two respective trophies, which get out of their hands at the very last note: in 2015 is Modena that wins the Italian Cup for 3-1 imposed on PalaDozza Bologna on January 11th, while the bachelorette European trophy comes three months after having succumbed to the golden set once again at Dinamo Moscow in the return match played in Russia. The disappointment for having only touched two high flow objectives becomes a stimulus for the final rush of the season: on the board of the playoffs Championship, moreover, Trento comes on top of seeded number one thanks to the regular-season victory - also this one obtained to the sprint over Modena - which also applies the new qualification to the Champions League. To try to get as far forward as possible, the Society complete the poker of excellent returns choosing also Mitar Djuric (from middle-blocker he became opposite); his arrival is decisive because thanks to the points that the Greek realizes, Trentino Volley exceeds Molfetta in the quarterfinals in two races and Perugia in the semifinals in three hard fought challenges. In the series of five games that assigns the tricolor, the opponent is again Modena, that close to victory in Game 1 (the prerogative of Birarelli and fellow comeback from 0-2 to 3-2), wins Game 2 at PalaPanini and then it undergoes two heavy 3-0 that deliver the fourth league title to the Company of President Mosna. On Wednesday, May 13th is a historic day for Trentino volleyball, in addition to other equally important ones: Trento celebrates precisely at PalaPanini (moment photographed in the left picture) the title of MVP of the young Simone Giannelli, eighteen year old setter grew up in the Youth Sector, brought into the first team squad only eight months earlier and became the protagonist of the final part of the season.
The season 2015/16 sees Trentino Volley recur to its audience with the new Championship on its jersey but without two historical players like Kaziyski (but he will return in time for the playoffs, after living the entire year in Japan) and captain Birarelli, passed to Perugia. The band goes on the arm of Filippo Lanza, who perfectly represents the new direction of the company, looking to the future with a further rejuvenated group and five thirteenths built in-house. Thanks to the excellent work done in previous years by the Youth Sector, the confirmed Stoytchev coach can count on promising fact of nursery products such as De Angelis, Nelli, Tiziano Mazzone and Simone Giannelli - promoted regular in the control room after the exploit in the previous season final. The new names are those of the Captain of the Slovenian National Urnaut (fresh silver medal at the European Championships), the best middle-blocker of the last Super League Van de Voorde and Antonov, Italian-Russian hammer already in the national team who had started playing thirteen years ago precisely in the province of Trento in Volley Mezzolombardo.
The start immediately gives strong emotions thanks to the defeat only at the tie-break in the Italian Super Cup in PalaPanini against Modena, historical opponent then passed in front of a packed PalaTrento just a month after the championship. In the plant of via Fersina in Super League must also bow Lube Civitanova (big favorite for the final victory of the season). Despite the injuries - which will condition all the way the yellow-blues year hitting more players throughout the season - Diatec Trentino constantly occupies the top positions of the regular-season standings, which will close in third place, and moving forward very fast both in the Champions League and in the Italian Cup, centering in both events access to the Final Four. If the qualifying final appointment of the maximum national trophy (then finished in second place after the 0-3 in the final again with Modena in Assago in the semifinals after eliminating Lube) might seem obvious, it was not at all rather than to the prestigious European event.
With the Champions, League Trentino Volley confirms to always have a special relationship, beating off competition in the first group stage (which adjusts smoothly Tours, Maaseik and Thessaloniki) and then gorgeous even in Playoffs thanks to double victories first against the Belgian of Lennik and then against the formidable Russian Belgorod. The Final Four, played again in Poland in the beautiful Tauron Arena in Krakow in front of over twelve thousand people, offered once again a result of high profile: Djuric and his teammates clearly won the semi-final with Lube and then carry on 2-0 in the final before undergoing the return of the Champions of Kazan, that gets the second European title in a row only to tie break by winning 13-15. The bitterness for having only touched the firm and the fourth victory of its history in the Champions League is soon soothed by pride for having put behind as many as 26 of the strongest teams in Europe and the presence of three players from Trentino in the sextet ideal: the setter Giannelli (meanwhile become a splendid reality of worldwide volleyball - in the picture above), the middle-blocker Solé and the hitter Urnaut.
Over two hundred fans, who came to Krakow for the event, offer a fitting tribute to the team, who then meet at PalaTrento already a few days later to play the final stage of the playoffs. However, the race for the Championship is full of suffering, as already shown in the five grueling race of the quarterfinals with Molfetta. In the semifinals renews the challenge with Modena; injuries have taken several alternatives to Stoytchev (among them the captain Lanza and Nelli, great protagonist in the series with Puglia and against Belgorod in Champions) and so the Bulgarian coach asks overtime to Kaziyski who, after returning from Japan, plays also opposed giving away in this role the only victory in the confrontation with the Emilians. DHL makes the most of home advantage in Game 1 and conquered twice PalaTrento, putting an end to the first season, after eight, without titles but with many interesting ideas and potential for the future.
The season 2016/17 has seen Trentino Volley begin a new cycle; after Radostin Stoytchev left Trento in July 2016, Angelo Lorenzetti has become the new coach, who often played against the Yellow-blue Club in the recent past when he trained Piacenza and Modena. Lorenzetti has been positively welcomed by the fans, partly because he had just won the treble (Supercoppa, Coppa Italia and Scudetto) with the team from Emilia-Romagna. He found a starting-six at his disposal, in which he couldn’t change much compared to the previous season. In the role of opposite, in place of Mitar Djuric (who went to Verona) now there is Jan Stokr, who has been welcomed back by the supporters. The beginning of the season, after a short pre-championship retreat in Valsugana, wasn’t so easy; Diatec Trentino immediately suffered two defeats in the Final Four of Supercoppa Italiana, which proved how big the gap from Modena, Perugia and Civitanova was. The fourth place at PalaPanini at the end of the first competition didn’t discourage the players, on the contrary; it boosted their confidence and gave them an important objective, which was getting every day nearer and nearer: playing against anyone on the same level.
The beginning of the championship has been very positive; the first defeat has arrived against Piacenza, after six victories in a row. Meanwhile, the team has participated in the Club World Championship 2016 in Betim (Brazil); Lanza and his team-mates has been invited by Fivb as European vice-champion and after winning their pool, they have lost the semi-final against the Russian team Kazan but being able to win the final for the third place against the Argentinian team Bolivar (at the tie-break). The third place in the world championship has proved to be useful both for the confidence of the players and for the quality achieved after playing five matches in five days in South America. After coming back to Italy, Diatec Trentino has been able to get the second place in the ranking behind Civitanova and has managed to hold this position until the end of the regular season. It has been at PalaTrento that the team of Lorenzetti has played at the highest level, so much so that the team has achieved the best winning streak in Trentino Volley’s history at home: 23 victories in a row and just one defeat. In January there has been space for the seasonal debut in Coppa CEV (almost won two years ago) and for Coppa Italia; Diatec Trentino surprises everyone winning without any kind of troubles the first rounds of the European tournament played versus two Finnish teams, but also achieving the qualification to the finals of the national tournament, winning versus Monza in the quarterfinals and then versus Modena (which was the champion of last year’s edition) in the semi-finals. The third final in a row of Coppa Italia wasn’t tough in favour of Giannelli and his teammates, who lost in Bologna 1-3 giving the trophy to Lube Civitanova.
To blow was not easy to be absorbed, but the team proves to have great character and within few weeks achieved the second place in ranking and got the final of CEV Cup 2017, winning versus Piacenza in the Italian derby and then versus Fenerbahce Istanbul too. The last round of the tournament versus the French team of Tours has been played in the middle of the period of Play Off Scudetto; Diatec Trentino gave the impression of being able to win the tournament thanks to an impressive 3-0 in going match at home, but then undid everything in the return match, giving a 1-3 victory to the French team and the golden set too, as happened in Moscow in 2015. In this case too, the defeat created a good reaction of pride; so, in the Play Off Trento, which won in the quarterfinals versus Monza without any kind of troubles, got an important victory the semi-finals Scudetto in match 5 versus Perugia. The team from Umbria, built last summer after having bought the best available players, bowed to the law of PalaTrento and left on; for Trentino Volley is the eighth Scudetto final of its history and the opponent is a well-known one: Lube Civitanova of Sokolov and Juantorena.
The very formers were the executioners of the yellow-blues, who fought a lot but lost the series of matches and the scudetto already in match 3 after very different matches. For the second year in a row the company of via Trener couldn’t celebrate any trophy but what remains is the conviction of having started a new important circle, with young but mature players like Giannelli and Lanza, who have the capacity to make the team further grow with the good guide of Lorenzetti. It is not a coincidence that the company of Trento renewed, already during the season, their contracts.