FINAL 1st / 2nd place – live streaming race
RUSSIA 0-3 ITALY (19-25, 22-25, 20-25)
CAGLIARI – Italy Under 21 World Champion! The Azzurrini close the circle of a challenge with Russia that lasted for at least three years (blue gold at the Under19 World Cup, Russian gold last year in the Under20 European Championship) and which sees the world gold always smiling at our colors. In Cagliari, in a very hot palas, in the fifth Under 21 World Championship final, Frigoni’s Italy puts on the bulletin board the first gold in the category after 4 silvers and 2 bronzes in past editions.
CHORAL VICTORY – A clear victory over the Russians in some physically important elements. In addition to the variety of choices in attack that a good Porro has been able to dispose of, Italy has been able to make the difference thanks to a defense capable of sending the opponent into a tailspin on more than one occasion called on the second and third counterattack opportunities. . Situation that has generated many errors in favor of Italy. Overall more team, more inclined to a game of the highest level.
EXPECTED APPOINTMENT – We were aiming for the big goal, a goal that this blue group has wanted and pursued since last October 4, 2020 when in Brno, in the Czech Republic, in the then European Under20 team they lost the final for gold with Russia 3-1. Michieletto and his teammates had made an appointment with the date of October 3, 2020, the day of the Under21 world championship final in Cagliari. That Russia is on the other side of the network is no coincidence. For Italy this was the fifth world final in the category, after Milan 1985, Cairo 1991, Rosario 1993 and Manama 2019.
SEXTETS – Italy with Porro as director, Stefani opposite, Michieletto and Rinaldi spikers, central Cianciotta and Crosato, Catania free. Mikhail Nikolaev deploys his Russia with Vyshnikov in the direction, Murashko opposite, Dineikin and Kurbanov spikers, Brazhniuk and Romanovskii central, Fedorov free.
THE MATCH – Start in a draw with Italy immediately on the ball and ahead of a break with Stefani’s block on place 4 Russian Stanislav Dineikin, son of the homonymous Russian champion ex Parma and Treviso: 4-6 for the Azzurri. Crosato at the service from 1 to 5 finds the ace of +3: 6-9. At this stage, leek is good who does not give points of reference to the Russian wall, raising indiscriminately to Stefani, Rinaldi and Michieletto in the first and second lines. An invasion by Kurbanov on the ball to attack at the net is worth +4: 11-15. The Russian goes into confusion and the reconstruction actions are wrong, Italy is instead cynical at every opportunity: 14-21, second Russian time out. Russia rekindles and goes back below: 19-23. Gottardo enters for Michieletto but there is no time, the last point is a Russian mistake by the newly entered Iutsevich: 19-25.
Teams unchanged in the sextets and Russia reinvigorated in the start of the second set with Frigoni asking for a time out on the opponent 6-4. Catania in defense inspires the Azzurri who take advantage of the replay opportunities created and thus remain in the wake: 10-8. An error by Cianciotta favors the subsequent +4 Russo (14-10), but there is always Catania (with applause) in defense to reinvigorate the blue game that with Michieletto and Russian errors capitalized favors the rapprochement of -1 (12-11 ). The pursuit ends Stefani on 16-16 from place 1.
Overtaking also arrives. Defense from red circle of Catania who holds an attack by the Russians without a wall and then Michieletto closes the counterattack and signs an ace: 18-19.
Rinaldi lets an insidious serve from Dineikin pass (21-20) but then hits the side out: 21-21. Rinaldi’s attack and a new Russian mistake are worth 22-24 which forces coach Mikhail Nikolaev to time out. Useless, Russia fails to reconstruct with clarity, the last point is still an opponent’s mistake with Kurbanov pulling a counterattack on the rod. The Azzurri defense deserves praise, which sent their opponents into a tailspin.
Still the Russian start, still an immediate reaction from the Azzurri who since 6-4 they carry on 6-10 with two points by Stefani, opposite who attacks and walls, ace from Cianciotta, counterattack by Crosato in the center, error by Romanovskii, very high central, who closes a first half without a wall and then Rinaldi’s counterattack. Russia changes direction with the entry of Anton Anoshko. Frigoni thus stops the game because the opponents seem to have found the key to the problem: 9-10, Dineikin ace on Rinaldi, against open between the two already from the previous set. Porro, finds in Crosato the central way to extend to +2. Russian errors (hit on the net by the new entry opposite Morozov), ace by Michieletto, Dineikin’s 4 out attack are worth +5: 13-18. Turns on the special Rinaldi very present in these hot phases: 15-21. The Azzurri manage the advantage even if Russia finds space to cancel a break from the disadvantage: 19-23. The Cagliari team supports Porro and his teammates: Stefani attacks the last ball diagonally, Italy is the Under 21 World Champion.