The Serbia gets older, explosiveness decreases, Uros Kovacevic runs into perhaps the worst night of his career and theItaly goes to the final. Now as a favorite, on the Sloveniansa, as evidenced by the 3-0 in the first phase, with two sets actually pulled, and also the success of three years ago, at the Italian-Bulgarian world championship. Italy dethrones the reigning champions, fueling the trilogy of exploits on the Serbs, from basketball to the women’s volleyball European Championship, with the final in Belgrade. The young Italy of Fefè De Giorgi amazed, technical and precise, 3-1 and away, in the final, 5 years after the Olympic silver in Rio. The last podium was in 2017, in the Grand Champions cup, there were already free Balaso e Giannelli, now captain. Superiority is on the block and on serve, in defense and in limiting free errors. Lanza was angry because at the Olympics Blengini had preferred Michieletto to him, now there is really the doubt that with Argentina it would have gone differently, with Pinali for Zaytsev, not at the best to the point of having to be operated on. And also with Balaso for the 35-year-old Colaci. In a month and a half of work, completed in Mantua, Fefè De Giorgi closed with the generation of Rio silver by grafting the right young people.
In Katowice, the reds delude themselves right at the beginning, 4-8, thanks to a mistake by Giannelli. The blue advantage comes quickly, with the walls up Luboric, the preferred opposite to Atanasijevic, and also one of Anzani. The blues move harmoniously in the subnet opposition, the central player guesses a good counterattack. Ivovic Balaso surprises in reception, but that ball fell to Lavia. Pinali’s mistake arrives, in one on one, free of charge, that’s where the opposite must improve, to ward off the returns of Zaytsev e Vettori. When Michieletto mura Kovacevic, his former partner in Trento, on the 15th even offers the hope of making it. The Serbs insist in the center, with Lisinac, the new overtaking comes thanks to two defenses of Giannelli. Coach Bobo Kovac inserts atanasijevic, his former player in Perugia, Serbia reaches 18-20 with two blocks from -2. One also comes from Pinali, who then favors the counterbreak in the serve. Michieletto freezes Kovacevic, bringing the first setpoint. It ends at 29-27 with Ivovic’s unlikely diagonal, where the hope of doing as in Bari takes hold, when Serbia lost 3-0, two years ago, and Italy qualified for the Olympics.
The merit of the Azzurri is concentration, Pinali he often looks for his hands and out, even in place 4. Atanasijevic returns for the second set, calls the cheering as if he were in Perugia, Kovacevic finds an ace trying to change the face of his bad night, the other left-handed Michieletto goes back to 9 all. Ivovic exits, for Petric, yet another wall arrives, by Anzani. Always with Giannelli at the service, Alessandro Michieletto guesses a touch of beach volleyball, for +3. Vanquished by Petric in joke. Galassi mura Kovacevic, increasingly displeased, Italy, on the other hand, remains shrewd, in the conclusions, the mani-out of Lavia it’s significant. Like the ace of Lisinac and the Podrascanin wall. We stay there, in a very tight semi-final, Giannelli controbrekka in front of Petric, with the blue +1, the double advantage comes with the intuition of the captain, for Gianluca Galassi, in the center. Two set points, Pinali guesses the ace on the free Majstorovic, it is 25-22, for the happiness of the federal president Giuseppe Manfredi, who has chosen Fefè De Giorgi as heir of Chicco Blengini.
In the third part a 19 ”action is Serbian, but it gives the idea of blue determination. We stay close, even on 10-12, with Ferdinando De Giorgi’s timeout, Atanasijevic starts with grim looks. It does not serve to stem the Galassi wall, perfect. Jovovic’s ace reports -2, Giannelli he hits a second shot, the referee calls him back to avoid tensions and makes peace with Basta Atanasijevic. Which is walled up by Lavia for 19 all. Krsmanovic affects little, yet Pinali miss a key attack, it’s -2. The two sets of margin allow the Azzurri to be calm, in the final, strong of the superiority against the wall, Michieletto signs on 23 even. The Serbs keep their nerve, Krsmanovic’s change and Kovacevic’s closure in the center, the one missed by Galassi.
Fourth game and 5-0, even, with Giannelli serving, ace and wall of Anzani. Atanasijevic is wrong, the distances widen, 10-4, with Krsmanovic’s error. Serbia does not have the continuity to close the gap, the few Italian fans present in Poland are calm and galvanized by the music of the Cev. Pinali will play in Trento, where president Mosna left, Modena had sent him to Ravenna, to grow, he guesses the ace of security, at 116 times, on 17-10. Pinali, Lavia, on 25-18 there is the signature of many.
The last continental final for Italy was in 2013, in Copenhagen, 3-1 by Russia, this is always in Katowice, tonight, from 20.30, on Rai3 and on Dazn.
The other semifinal is throbbing and goes on for long, to the point that in Katowice the second one starts with a dozen minutes late. 25-17 Poland, favorite, 30-32 the Slovenian equal, the third set is one-way for the Adriatic, the fourth is really unique. Matchpoint for Slovenia, with the challenge, on a mistake by Bieniek, to unleash the Slovenian fans. The serve is for Urnaut, the best, Leon cancels, then Bieniek hits and favors the 4th setpoint, canceled by Cebulj. A second match point arrives, Leon seems to be blocked but the ball had not passed, as evidenced by the challenge. Another infinite challenge, the coach Alberto from Marche Giuliani he smiles, but another verdict arrives at the replay unfavorable to his national team, it is 31 all. Kurek sends out on yet another Polish setpoint and Stern puts the 35-37 on the ground.
That’s right, the Slovenians are in the 3rd continental final, second in a row, deserved. There Poland goes to the final for 3rd place with Serbia, reigning world champion coach Vital Heynen he left defeated, just like at the Olympics, with the exit in the quarter-finals in a tiebreak with France, then champion. For the fourth time in a row, at the European Championships, Slovenia, with 2 million inhabitants, eliminates Poland, which has 40 million and is the country most passionate about volleyball. She qualified for the World Cup Russia of 2022, same thing for Italy. Volleyball is popular because it is increasingly unpredictable. Sixteen years after Rome, we are waiting for a gold.