Trento, 16 March 2023

Champions League, Trentino Itas surrender only at the golden set

The dream of confirming for the third consecutive year among the four best teams in Europe vanishes only in the Golden set for Trentino Itas. Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle interrupted it, which, after twice blocking the road to Verona in the finals in 2021 and Ljubljana in 2022, this time eliminated the yellow-blue team just a step away from the semifinals.
The quarterfinal return match played today at the BLM Group Arena confirmed the great balance that the two teams had been able to exhibit already nine days ago in Poland in the first leg game but, as then, it was the defending champions who proved to be more cynical and incisive in the important moments. Indeed, the fifth-set victory in the official match helped the yellow-blue "only" to get to play the tiebreaker set, showing once again all the temperament and personality of a team that initially had impacted better on the match, later had suffered the opponents' comeback but still managed to keep alive the hopes for the qualification until the end, recovering from 1-2 to 3-2. The Golden set was marked by the guests' block (scoring 19 times throughout the evening), gradually fading the hosts' hopes. Beyond the elimination, at the end of the match, however, many positive aspects for Trentino Itas remain: Lisinac comeback (14 points with 63% in attack), and the fact that it can continue to count on the certainties represented by Kaziyski (28 points also tonight, best scorer), Michieletto (23 with 59% at the net, one block and no less than 5 ace) and Podrascanin: 67% in the first half, one ace and six blocks for a total of 13 points. Fundamental points from which the team can restart in view of the upcoming start of the Scudetto’s Play Off (already on Sunday, again at the BLM Group Arena against Monza).

Below is the scoreboard of the second round’s match of the 2023 CEV Champions League quarterfinals, played tonight at the BLM Group Arena in Trento.

Trentino Itas-Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn-Koźle 3-2, golden set 9-15
(25-19, 23-25, 27-29, 25-21, 15-12)
TRENTINO ITAS: Sbertoli, Lisinac 14, Kaziyski 28, Michieletto 23, Podrascanin 13, Lavia 11, Laurenzano (L); Nelli, Džavoronok, Cavuto. N.e. D’Heer, Pace, Berger, Depalma. Coach. Angelo Lorenzetti.
GRUPA AZOTY: Sliwka 16, Smith 12, Kaczmarek 27, Bednorz 20, Pashitskii 2, Janusz 2, Shoji (L); Kluth, Huber 12, Staszewski. N.e. Stepien, Wiltenburg, Zalinski e Banach. Coach: Tuomas Sammelvuo.
REFEREES: Schimpl di Bratislava (Slovacchia) e Szabo di Budapest (Ungheria).
SET DURATION: 22’, 28’, 33’, 22’, 16’, 16’; tot 2h e 18’.
NOTES: 2.367 spectators, proceeds of 21.538 euro. Trentino Itas: 12 blocks, 10 aces, 19 serve errors, 9 action errors, 49% in attack, 46% (18%) in reception. Grupa Azoty: 19 blocks, 8 aces, 25 serve errors, 8 action errors, 51% in attack, 44% (20%) in reception. MVP Kaczmarek

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