Super Lega 2022 - News

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With 18 points, the French middle blocker led Lube to a dramatic victory

Defending champions Cucine Lube Civitanova counted on a stellar performance from middle blocker Barthélémy Chinenyeze to win a dramatic five-set battle against Itas Trentino and tie the 2022-2023 SuperLega Credem Banca Finals 1-1 on Thursday.

Playing in front of their fans in Civitanova Marché, the winners of the last three editions of the Italian League stopped Trentino’s strong comeback to grind to a 3-2 (25-21, 25-15, 19-25, 23-25, 17-15) victory that evens the best-of-five series ahead of match three, which will be played in Trento, on Sunday, at 18:00 local time (16:00 UTC).

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Thanks to the excellent distribution of veteran setter Luciano De Cecco, Lube had four players registering 15 or more points in their five-set duel with Lube. Above all of them, was Chinenyeze, who produced a team-high 18 points and was awarded as the Most Valuable Player of the encounter.

The most consistent among Lube’s hitters, the 25-year-old French Olympic champion had more kills than any other player in his team, with 17, and also added one block to play a massive role in Lube’s victory.

"It was an incredible match," the French reacted. "We were very aggressive and played extremely well in the first two sets, but couldn't keep up the same level after that. But we gave everything we had in the tie-breaker and I'm proud of the team because of the way we recovered."

Bulgarian outside hitter Aleksandar Nikolov, who scored the game-winning point, and Italian opposite Ivan Zaytsev, who fired three aces, produced 17 points each. Cuban outside hitter Marlon Yant was Lube’s fourth player with a productive night, tallying 15 points and a match-high four aces.

The match’s top scorer was Trentino’s star outside hitter Alessandro Michieletto, who carried his team’s offense with 19 points, all in kills. Bulgarian opposite Matey Kaziyski tallied 11 points, just as many as 22-year-old Belgian middle blocker Wout D’Heer, who started in the place of Srecko Lisinac and had a strong showing, with five kills, three aces and three blocks.

"We definitely leave the court frustrated because we couldn't win the tie-breaker," coach Angelo Lorenzetti commented. "We should have handled some situations differently. I think our team struggled mentally and physically in some moments today. Our substitutes did a great job coming off the bench, but in the Finals, you need to give everything in every match."

Lube’s offensive production was one of the keys to their tight victory at the end as they got 61 points in kills to Trentino’s 51. The defending champions also had the upper hand in aces (nine to five), but saw the 2022 FIVB Men’s Club World Championship silver medallists dominate in blocks (11 to six) and benefit from more errors (34 to 33).

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