Milan, 20 April 2024

Allianz Milano-Itas Trentino 3-2, the match report

The chronicle of game 2. Only one change in the starting six compared to the previous match on Wednesday: Itas Trentino had to do without Lavia, but recovered Sbertoli, who was immediately deployed by Soli in the booth of director, with Rychlicki as opposite, Magalini and Michieletto as outside hitters, Kozamernik and Podrascanin as middle blockers  and Laurenzano as libero. Allianz Milan were still without Kaziyski and responded with Porro as setter, Reggers as opposite, Ishikawa and Mergarejo Hernandez as outside hitters, Loser and Vitelli as middle blockers, and Catania as libero. The hosts made their presence felt at the start of the match with Loser's wall (from 3-1 to 3-4 with the Argentine scoring with three blocks), then Ishikawa's counterattack widened the gap (4-6 and 6-10), forcing the guests to take refuge in a time out. When the game resumed, the Meneghini once again laid down the law, this time with Reggers who struck the blow (7-12 and 8-14). Soli interrupted the game again, and when Michieletto came back in, it was Michieletto who sounded the charge, perhaps too late, with a counterattack and a block on Reggers that brought the score to minus four (16-20), then Magalini and Rychlicki brought the Yellow -Blue back to within one (20-22). The reunification came at the 24 with an attack by Sbertoli, but it was Trento's last gasp as they then suffered an ace by Reggers and ceded the first set 24-26.
Itas Trentino did not get demoralised and, after the change of court, came back even more convinced and incisive, especially on serve thanks to the aces of Sbertoli, Michieletto, Kozamernik and Rychlicki (4-1 and 7-3). Piazza interrupted the game but when it resumed, it was still the yellow-blue who laid down the law (11-7 and then 15-10), thanks to a very attentive block. A block by Podrascanin on Reggers gave them the maximum advantage (17-10, another time out for Milano); Soli's team was on its way to a 1-1 tie in the scoreboard, which came to 25-17 with Magalini also in evidence at the net.
Milan tried to react at the start of the third set with Ishikawa and Reggers (4-7), Soli stopped the game and his team offered signs of recovery (8-10), but then suffered a new threat from their opponents with Porro serving (also an ace for 8-13). Trento dropped its intensity in all the fundamentals, conceding the flank to the locals who took advantage of this (12-20), quickly reaching 2-1 inside (16-25) thanks to a very effective high ball trio and a block that did not leave many spaces. Itas Trentino turned the page again in the fourth set, reacting with Michieletto and Rychlicki (3-2 and 7-4); Milan responded with Reggers (8-8) and then put the arrow in with Ishikawa (10-12, time out Soli). The hosts fly to +4 (10-14), but the Gialloblù don't give up, and with Magalini (attack and block) and Kozamernik (block on the Japanese) they get back on track (14-14). The second part of the period was fought point-to-point (18-18, 23-23); Milan was the first to reach the set ball, but Trento cancelled two of them and with Michieletto put the arrow in (27-25), which won the tie break.
In the fifth set, the yellow-blue’s block immediately put the gag on Allianz (3-0), and then allowed them to hold on to the advantage even later thanks to Rychlicki (8-5 and 10-7) and D'Heer, who had been on court since the end of the previous period. In the final Milano found the energy to draw level at 11 (Loser's ace and Magalini's error) and then to put the arrow (12-13). Trento reacted again with Michieletto and earned six consecutive match points (from 14-13 to 20-19), but did not take advantage of them by missing too many serves and falling at the second: Porro's wall on Rychlicki for the 20-22 that brought the series to a 1-1 draw.

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