Perugia and Trentino top Club World Champs pools
The Italian teams will face Brazil’s Minas and Sada Cruzeiro respectively in Saturday’s semifinals
Published 03:25, 10 Dec 2022
Set to start at 18:30 local time (21:30 GMT) on Saturday, the first semifinal will reunite the two winningest teams in the first 16 editions of the tournament – five-time champions Trentino, who topped Pool B, and four-time winners and defending champions Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei, who were second in Pool A.
Looking to claim the world title in their first appearance in the tournament, Pool A winners Perugia will face Pool B runners-up Itambé Minas in the second semifinal duel, set to start at 21:30 local time (00:30 GMT).
Perugia showed strength in their second match in the tournament and completed their pool play campaign with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 29-31, 25-21) victory over Sada Cruzeiro on Friday. The Italians claimed the win with some lineup changes from their Thursday match as opposite Kamil Rychlicki remained on the bench while star outside hitter Wilfredo Leon and middle blocker Flavio Gualberto were only used in the fourth set.
Sada Cruzeiro vs. Perugia - Match Highlights
Rychliki’s substitute in Perugia’s starting lineup, Cuban Jaime Herrera led all scorers with 20 points (17 kills, one block, two aces). Two other new faces on the team against Sada Cruzeiro, Argentinean middle blocker Sebastian Sole and Ukrainian outside hitter Oleh Plotnytskyi tallied 15 (nine kills, five blocks, one ace) and 12 (ten kills, two aces) points respectively.
“I think we played really well against Sada Cruzeiro, who are one of the best teams in the world,” star setter Simone Giannelli, who scored eight points, commented. “I believe we managed to show our best level in the first two sets. It was very difficult, but we got a good win against a strong team and we’re happy about it. Minas have one of the best setters in the world in William (Arjona) and a very good team as well, so we’ll need to play at our best to advance.”
In order to finish first in Pool A, Trentino had to battle Minas and the Italians had a solid performance to top the Brazilians in straight sets (25-21, 25-23, 25-18) and advance to the semifinals for the fourth time in their last four appearances – they won bronze last year, also in Betim.
“Minas were a very difficult opponent and I think we played really well,” Michieletto, a 2022 world champion, told Volleyball World. “Advancing in first place in our pool was our first goal and I’m very happy that we did it. Sada Cruzeiro are a very good team and they typically play well at home, so we know it’s going to be very difficult against them in the semifinals. It’s going to be a battle and the key for us will be to play as we did in our first two matches.”
Minas vs. Trentino - Match Highlights
Minas, who rested most of their starters (most notably veterans William Arjona and Leandro Vissotto) for most of the match, got good production from 18-year-old outside hitter Arthur Bento, who left the court with 11 points (ten kills, one block), one point more than opposite Paulo Ferreira and two more than middle blocker Kelvi Souza.