After persevering through two tough five-setters at Italy’s Del Monte® Supercoppa 2022 finals in Cagliari, Sir Safety Susa Perugia lifted the trophy for the fourth time in the 27-year-long history of the competition. Their Ukrainian outside hitter Oleh Plotnyitskyi was named Most Valuable Player of the two-day event on Monday and Tuesday.
Two five-setters lift Perugia to top of Supercoppa podium
Ukrainian star Plotnytskyi is the golden substitution in the final
Published 08:12, 02 Nov 2022
In the big final on Tuesday evening, the team from Perugia got back at Cucine Lube Civitanova for the defeat they suffered in last season’s SuperLega championship playoff and put their hands on the first trophy of the new season after a hard-fought 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 15-8) victory.
“I am happy for the victory and happy for the boys. Everyone, from the first to the last, put their heart into it. It was a tough game, but we were good at reacting and always staying in the match. Winning the trophy like this has a beautiful taste.” Roberto Russo, middle blocker of Sir Safety Susa Perugia
Perugia were down by a set twice in the match. Lube even stormed the fourth set on a 5-0 run, seemingly well on their way to success. However, sub-in Plotnyitskyi helped change the course of the match, earning a well-deserved MVP nomination. He spiked at a success rate of 67% and added three kill blocks to his total match tally of 11 points.
Plotnyitskyi’s cross-court teammate Wilfredo Leon delivered a match-high 21 points, including 19 spikes at a 68% success rate in attack, an ace and a block. Unfortunately, the Cuban-born Polish star slipped after a back-row attack in the tie-breaker set, hit his head badly on the floor and had to leave the court. Luckily, he was well enough shortly after that to join the victory celebrations and lift the trophy himself in his role as team captain. Perugia’s Luxembourgish opposite Kamil Rychlicki contributed another 14 points on his 26th birthday. On Lube’s side, opposite Gabi Garcia was the best scorer, matching Plotnyitskyi's 21 points.
“I thank my teammates who gave me this beautiful gift. It was a perfect day full of great emotions. We never gave up and we stayed in the game fighting until the end.” Kamil Rychlicki, opposite of Sir Safety Susa Perugia
A day earlier, in their semifinal against defending Supercoppa laureates Itas Trentino, Perugia also had to come back from losing the first set and battle through a tie-breaker to claim a 3-2 (23-25, 25-17, 25-22, 22-25, 15-7) win. Polish outside Kamil Semeniuk contributed 20 points to that victory, including four aces and a block, while experienced Bulgarian star Matey Kaziyski produced the match high of 23 points on Trentino’s side.
“Suffering is our companion. It will be like this for the whole season. I said this to the boys today too during the match. The players on the other side of the net are as strong as we are. We have to get used to this kind of match, where the result is always in question. I am also happy because it is my first Supercoppa and I thank Perugia, because in 2022 I have managed to win two titles, the Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup, which I had never won before.” Simone Giannelli, setter of Sir Safety Susa Perugia
Garcia scored 15 points to lead Lube to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-20) shutout of Valsa Group Modena in the other semifinal on Monday. In Tuesday’s third place match, Trentino managed a 3-1 (25-14, 23-25, 33-31, 25-18) win over the team from Modena, with opposite Gabriele Nelli topping the charts with 25 points.
Before the final, the spectators at the PalaPirastu in Cagliari applauded some of the members of the Italian national team that won the 2022 FIVB Volleyball World Championship gold medals in September. They included Perugia’s Simone Giannelli and Roberto Russo, Lube’s Fabio Balaso, Mattia Bottolo and Simone Anzani, and Trentino’s Daniele Lavia, Alessandro Michieletto and Riccardo Sbertoli, along with their coach Ferdinando De Giorgi.