Italy has combined it very big, she invented a new creepy magic, he overwhelmed Serbia with an overwhelming 3-1 (29-27; 25-22; 23-25; 25-18) and it is qualified for the European Final 2021 of men’s volleyball. Our national team has towered far and wide at the Spodek Arena in Katowice (Poland), ha shredded the Champions of Europe in charge with a dynamite force in 124 minutes of play, he roared with all his leonine caliber and won it in a balanced and exciting semifinal, in which the boys of coach Fefé De Giorgi were good at making the difference from the point from a technical point of view and to emerge in the most crucial moments.
The Azzurri dethrone coach Boban Kovac’s battleship, just like the girls did two weeks ago in the Belgrade final, and tomorrow evening (20.30) they will face Slovenia (this afternoon capable of defeating Poland, World Champion and hostess 3-1) in an unprecedented final act of the continental review. Italy will play for the eleventh time in its history the match that is giving away the title (six won, four lost): the last triumph dates back to 2005 (home triumph in Rome, it is the last international seal of the men’s national volleyball team), in 2013 instead came the defeat against Russia (two years earlier it was lost with Serbia). For sure the blues return to the podium after the bronze six years ago. On the other side of the net will be the Balkans, in their third final (lost those of 2015 and 2019) and already defeated 3-0 in the group stage.
Simone Giannelli and his companions slipped the eighth consecutive victory in this event (leaving only three sets on the road), astonishing for the technical quality and for a choral game offered continuously. And to say that this is a new cycle made up of young people, launched by the Apulian coach only two weeks ago: a wonderful surprise, an authentic revelation in this summer of great Italian triumphs that we hope will continue.
Italy played with great personality going up from 21-23 in the first set, had the head to fight point to point with the opponents in the second set, did not break down after losing the third fraction in the sprint and closed the accounts with personality in a fourth set dominated from the start. The setter Simone Giannelli he distinguished himself once again with an impeccable test in the control room, managing all his teammates in the best possible way and offering a performance as an authentic captain for charisma and solidity.
The talent of an amazing Alessandro Michieletto he emerged with a series of overwhelming offensive shots, so much so that the hitter scored even 23 points (55% in attack, 4 blocks, 1 aces) and finished as a top scorer. The other hammer is also widely promoted Daniele Lavia, author of 13 points (2 blocks, 43% in the offensive phase) and convinces in the receptive phase (57%) against the champion opponents. The opposite Giulio Pinali he replied present when he was called into question (17 points, 47%), but to highlight is the show staged by the central Gianluca Galassi (13 points, 3muri), a real thorn in Serbia’s side. The veteran Simone Anzani (7, 4 walls) and the free Fabio Balaso (which held against the broadsides of rivals) complete a screaming sextet that today passed a university exam and tomorrow will aim for graduation.
Boban Kovac has tried in every way has deployed the opposite Drazen Luburic in the first set (2 points), then he bet on the totem pole Aleksandar Atanasijevic (12 points, unleashed in the third set), he alternated the three central Marko Podrascanin (13 points, 5 walls), Srecko Lisinac (3) e Petar Krsmanovic 6 (), the veteran ventured Nemanja Petric starting from the third set (8) instead of Marko Ivovic (4), he hoped for the verve of the hammer Uros Kovacevic (16 points) but it was not enough against a majestic Italy.
THE ITALIAN-SERBIA CHRONICLE, EUROPEAN VOLLEYBALL SEMIFINAL 2021
Podrascanin was unleashed at the start of the first set and dragged Serbia up 3-1, but a nice diagonal from Pinali and a pipe from Michieletto, followed by a sumptuous diagonal, still keep the Azzurri in the wake (4-5). Galassi misses the serve, then Ivovic punishes with a hands-off and Lisinac does very badly with a half ace that allows the European Champions to double (8-4). Italy, however, does not break up in the least: Lavia’s pipe, lash and Michieletto’s wall, Luburic’s attack on the net for the equalizer at an altitude of 8. Serbia serves better and more insightful in attack, Ivovic makes himself heard with an ace and Podrascanin continues to be relentless to the sound of early times (14-12).
Lavia and Michieletto do not retreat and show their muscles (16-16), then Italy is unleashed with a deadly one-two (counterattack by Michieletto after a good defense by Giannelli on Podrascanin, lightning diagonal of Pinali) to which Podrascanin and the substitute Atanasijevic (19-19). Michieletto and Anzani are blocked, Serbia flies ahead of a break (21-19) and keeps it until 23-21, when the climate overheats due to a double touch by the Slavs, first recognized by the referee and then disowned with a lot of repetition of the point. First time scored by Galassi, Kovacevic’s mistake and Italy roars for 23-23. An error in the service of Pinali gives a set point to Serbia, but Pinali cancels it (walled out). Italy has three non-consecutive set points, but fails to materialize them (27-27). Michieletto invents an impossible attack from a tight angle and a subsequent offensive mistake by Ivovic gives us the partial.
Podrascanin’s wall and Kovacevic’s hands out for the Serbian break at the opening of the second set, Italy promptly impacts with a hands-off from Pinali and an ace from Michieletto (2-2). Our national team, however, struggles in reception and suffers from the blows of Kovacevic and the substitute Atanasijevic (5-7 with the ace of the hitter), but does not panic and indeed has the personality to react: Anzani invents two consecutive walls on Ivovic and Atanasijevic, then Michieletto realizes a lob after a defensive magic by Balaso (12-9).
The boys of Fefé De Giorgi give the impression of being able to escape, but they are unable to put the turbo and suffer a draw from Serbia thanks to Petric (pipe and ace, 12-12). Tight fight point to point, Italy is preferred for its choral play and the intensity of the wall-defense mechanism, while Serbia stings in the serve and in attack (20-20). The break comes suddenly: Kovacevic misses the serve and Galassi signs a first half for 23-21. Atanasijevic shortens with a parallel (23-22), but Galassi extends again with a first half and Pinali closes the accounts with a superlative ace.
Serbia tries everything in the opening of the third fraction with Kovacevic and Podrascanin, but Galassi and Lavia are good at putting a piece of it (6-6). Kovacevic gives the European Champions a break with a hands out and an ace (8-6), but a phenomenal diagonal from Michieletto and an ace from Giannelli allow our national team to put their nose ahead (10-9). Atanasijevic decides to take the chair and signs four consecutive points (11-13). Giannelli relies on his central attackers, then Galassi prints Krsmanovic (14-14).
Serbia readily extends with a jab from Kovacevic and Jovovic’s ace then Atanasijevic’s diagonal to strengthen the break (18-16). Pinali’s hands-off and Lavia’s printer on Atanasijevic for the equalizer at 19. Italy lacks cynicism, Pinali attacks out and Atanasijevic is impeccable with a hands-off after Michieletto’s pipe for a new break for the Champions Europe (22-20). Michieletto invents a magic to recover the disadvantage (23-23), but Serbia raises the pace again and closes it with a painful one-two offensive signed by Krsmanovic and Kovacevic.
Italy returned to the field with great nastiness in the fourth set and promptly signed a 5-0 run: diagonal from Michieletto, ace from Giannelli, winner from Michieletto, Anzani block against Atanasijevic and another ace from Giannelli. Serbia tries to react with Krsmanovic and Atanasijevic, Giannelli attacks with first intention and signs the dubbing (12-6). The two teams begin to make mistakes a bit in the service (15-10), then Italy accelerates with hands-offs and ace from Pinali (17-10). Our national team is in total control, manages to administer with great attention and brings rivals to their knees (20-13). The final is in total control, you fly to the final on a mistake in the service of the dethroned European Champions.