Super Lega 2022 - News

Trentino 3004

Playing as an opposite, Kaziyski has been Trentino's main scorer in the season

There are only two teams still standing in the race for the title of the 2022-2023 SuperLega Credem Banca and Itas Trentino and Cucine Lube Civitanova will begin their battle for the Italian Scudetto on Monday.

The duel set to begin at 18:15 local time (16:15 UTC) will open the best-of-five series that will determine this season’s Italian champions and will have Trentino, the second-best team in the regular season, starting the duel in front of their fans in a sold-out stadium in Trento.

· Watch all SuperLega Credem Banca matches live or on demand on VBTV.

The two teams have met in the SuperLega Final twice before and Lube were on the winning side on both occasions, overcoming Trentino to secure the title in the 2011-2012 and 2016-2017 seasons.

Trentino’s opposite Gabriele Nelli is the only player in both squads to have been involved with their most recent encounter, six years ago, and he expects a different outcome now than the one from 2016-2017, when Lube took the series in three matches.

“That year, they had a star-studded roster and our team was very young,” he recalled. “This time, there’s no real favorite, I believe both teams start the series on equal footing. The fact that we could potentially play three of the five matches at home is a great positive, especially considering how often our fans make a difference for us. The first match typically has a big impact in the series and we want to start strong.”

Trentino gets to the Finals with a campaign of 14 wins and eight losses in the regular season and with victories over Vero Volley Monza (3-1) in the quarterfinals and Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza (3-2) in the semifinals.

Trentino’s outside hitter duo of Alessandro Michieletto and Daniele Lavia has played a big role in the team’s path to the Italian League Final, but veteran Bulgarian opposite Matey Kaziyski has also been in great form. Playing as an opposite this season, the team captain ranks third in the entire league in points (487) – Michieletto is seventh with 447.

The team’s Serbian middle blocker pairing has also been very effective during the season with 35-year-old Marko Podraščanin ranking second in the Superliga in blocks (71) and his 30-year-old compatriot Srećko Lisinac coming next with 66.

The team from Northern Italy will be looking for its fifth Italian title following victories in 2007-2008, 2010-2011, 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 and is back in the Finals for the first time since 2016-2017.

Lube enter the Scudetto Finals as the three-time defending champions and have seven titles won over the last two decades (2005-2006, 2011-2012, 2013-2014, 2016-2017, 2018-2019, 2020-2021, 2021-2022).

Lube 3004

Yant has grown into a key role with Lube during the season

The team from Civitanova Marché ranked fourth in the regular season with 13 wins and nine losses and has won their two playoff series, against WithU Verona in the quarterfinals and Allianz Milano in the semifinals, in the fifth and decisive match.

Lube made it to their sixth-straight SuperLega Finals with somewhat of a rejuvenated squad. Although Argentinean setter Luciano De Cecco (the fourth-best in the league with 559 successful actions) and Italian star opposite Ivan Zaytsev have big roles in providing some much-needed veteran leadership, rising star outside hitters Aleksandar Nikolov (19) and Marlon Yant (21) have been instrumental for the team, averaging 17 and 15 points per match during the playoffs.

“For us to be in the Finals right in the first year after rejuvenating our squad in the way we did, not many people expected that,” coach Gianlorenzo Blengini reflected. “We'll try and take the opportunities we have in the series against Trentino because we still have room for growth as a team. I don't think we have anything to lose, but when you are in the Final, you want to win it and we'll be very determined.”

A 2022 world champion, libero Fabio Balaso is also having an excellent season with Lube as he leads the SuperLega in digs (246) and ranks third in serve-receive (161).

Monday’s match will be the just third encounter between the teams in the season and each side has prevailed in one duel so far. Lube have a slim edge when looking back into the last ten matches between the teams, with six wins to Trentino’s four.

Quick links:
Lega Pallavolo SuperLega Credem Banca
Lega Pallavolo Femminile Serie A1