Holders Sir Sicoma Perugia defend title with convincing win over Itambe Minas -
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Holders Sir Sicoma Perugia defend title with convincing win over Itambe Minas

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Volleyball Club World Championships

Khel Today Bureau 

Bengaluru: Sir Sicoma Perugia of Italy became only the third team to successfully defend their Volleyball Men’s Club World Championships title with a 3-0 triumph over Brazil’s Itambe Minas at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.

Another Italian club Itas Trentino (2009-2012) and Brazil’s Sada Cruzeiro Volei (2015, 2016) are the only other teams to have achieved that feat. Perugia joined that exclusive club with a dominating performance in Bengaluru as they did not drop a single set in the competition.

Perugia won the final 25-13, 25-21, 25-19 in what was a grand finale to a high-quality competition that was being held for the first time in India and only the second time in Asia.

The Italian outfit, who had stitched together eight wins in their nine SuperLiga matches back home, had blanked Minas in the group stage and were the overwhelming favourites even before the final started.

And the team that boasts of star setter Simone Giannelli, Polish Outside Hitter Kamil Semeniuk and Cuban Opposite Jesus Herrera showed that they meant business as they raced to a 7-3 lead and extended that advantage of five points at 11-6 with some quality spiking.

Every time Minas looked like fighting back in the set, they were guilty of a service error and never recovered once the Italians opened up a 10-point lead at 22-12.

Minas, however, put the disappointment of the first set behind as Opposite Michael Sanchez and Outside Hitter Marcus Coelho scored valuable winners to hand their team a 2-7 lead.

At this stage Perugia showed why they were such a champion side as their Ukranian Outside Hitter Oleh Plotnytskyi came up with a couple of big serves as the Italians drew level at 8-8 after bagging five straight points.

To their credit, Minas did not drop shoulders and kept pace with Perugia, even forcing Giannelli to make a rare error while setting. But the Italians soon regained their composure and won five straight points on Herrera’s serve to take a 23-19 lead.

Both teams made errors on all their remaining serves and Perugia had little trouble in doubling their lead.
The third set was a repeat of the opening set as Perugia tightened the noose around the Brazilians with Semeniuk and Herrera scoring with their accurate spiking and Middle Blockers Flavio Resende and Sebastian Sole coming up with quality blocks to force their opponents to surrender unconditionally.

It was Herrera who hit the winning strike on Perugia’s first championship point and the entire Koramangala Indoor Stadium rose to give a standing ovation to coach Angelo Lorenzetti’s team after the 68-minute encounter.

Awards list –

Gold Medal: Sir Safety Perugia
Silver Medal: Itambe Minas
Bronze Medal: Suntory Sunbirds

Best Outside Hitter – Plotnyskyi Oleh of Sir Safety Perugia
Best Outside Hitter – Evangelista Coelho Marcus Vinicius of Itambe Minas
Best Middle Blocker – Sole Sebastian of Sir Safety Perugia
Best Middle Blocker – Michelucci Moralez Renan of Itambe Minas
Best Libero – Nascimento Maique Reis of Itambe Minas
Best Setter – Giannelli Simon of Sir Safety Perugia
Best Opposite Hitter – Muserskiy Dmitriy of Suntory Sunbirds
Most Valuable Player – Plotnyskyi Oleh of Sir Safety Perugia.

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