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17/03/2016 23:16
TRENTINO Diatec shine through to outplay Russian Lions in first round of Playoffs 6
2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men

Trento, Italy, March 17, 2016. Italian champions TRENTINO Diatec are only one step away from qualifying for the Final Four Tournament of the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men. In a match on schedule for the first round of the Playoffs 6 Italy’s standout claimed a rather surprisingly speedy victory over Russia’s Lions Belogorie BELGOROD in three sets (25-20, 25-17, 28-26). The 2014 CL gold medallists from Russia experienced a terrifying nightmare at PalaTrento on Thursday night whilst the hosts of TRENTINO delivered some kind of a dream performance.
 
TRENTINO started off strongly cruising to an imposing 8-2 lead propelled by their Slovenian outside spiker Tine Urnaut and by some mistakes made by their most feared opponent, Russia’s giant Dmitriy Muserskiy. After the first technical time-out, the Russian Lions tried to get back on track, responding with some dangerous serves by Artem Smolyar but the hosts controlled the game with ease also thanks to two aces of their young opposite Gabriele Nelli (pictured) to close the first set 25-20.
 
The second set was played point for point in its early stages; the serves of Smolyar and the break points of Muserskiy caused some problems to the Italians, but after their coach Radostin Stoytchev called a timeout by the score of 11-8 for Belogorie, the local fans got to see the immediate reaction of the three-time CL gold medallists from Trento. An incredible serving series by Nelli, who scored three aces, forced the visitors to make a series of mistakes and TRENTINO eventually finished it off 25-17 to further cement their supremacy in the match.
 
The story repeated itself in the third set, where an inspired TRENTINO remained focussed on every single rally. Smiles from the Russian side of the net came only when Muserskiy changed his position from middle blocker to opposite and scored a series of points to tie the score at 14-14. The last section of the game was breathtaking and played point for point; TRENTINO cancelled three set points in a row for the Russians and eventually claimed the set with another ace by Nelli 28-26.

The Italians delivered an impressive blocking performance (seven points) and from the service line as well, recording six aces; BELGOROD, on the other hand, made mistakes from start to end and their offensive game was not up to the usual standards.  

The Slovenian outside spiker of TRENTINO, Tine Urnaut was named MVP of the match by virtue of a 55% success rate in attack and a personal tally of 19 points, including two blocks. The local opposite Gabrielle Nelli (six aces) and setter Simone Giannelli, who orchestrated the game of TRENTINO in a perfect way, were also among the standout players in a memorable night for the hosts. As for Belogorie, Dmitriy Muserskiy (13 points) was the only player who delivered a solid performance for the Russian powerhouse.
 
“To win against Belogorie we needed to do something more than we usually do, and my players did this right from the beginning of the match,” stated TRENTINO head coach Radostin Stoytchev. “It happened to me only a few times to see such determined and tenacious team. The six aces scored by Nelli are the symbol of the sense of responsibility shown by my team. However, we still have to keep our feet on the ground and remain focussed on the next match in Russia. Anything can happen and the result from tonight can be turned around.”

Click here for more info including detailed stats of the matches

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