Update: Men’s Champions League Final, with English commentary, is available here (free).
CEV Champions League
Semifinal 1: Zenit Kazan def. Berlin Recycling Volleys 25-21, 25-22, 25-13
Live Stats / Live Video
Semifinal 2: Sir Sicoma Colussi Perugia def. Cucine Lube Civatanova 25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-9
Live Scoring / Live Video
Bronze medal match: BR Volleys vs. Cucine Lube Civatanova
Sunday, April 30, 10 a.m. ET
Gold medal match: Zenit Kazan vs. Sir Sicoma Colussi Perugia
Sunday, April 30, 1 p.m. ET
The host Sir Sicoma Colussi Perugia squad boasted a one-set lead twice in the match, but it came down to a strong block in the decisive fifth set to earn the home team a spot in Sunday’s Champions League finals.
Perugia won the match 25-19, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-9 over Cucine Lube Civatanova in front of a home sellout crowd of 11,000. Perugia registered 16 blocks, including four in the decisive fifth set, to Lube’s 11. Perugia will face defending champions Zenit Kazan in Sunday’s championship match after the latter won Saturday’s first semifinal.
Aleksander Atanasijevic led Perugia with 20 points, including 19 kills, while Marko Podracanin followed with 17 points, including eight blocks. Ivan Zaytsev added 15 points, including three aces and four blocks
Cucine Lube Ciavatanova was led by Tsvetan Sokolov’s 20 points, including 17 kills, while Jiri Kovar added 15 points and Osmany Juantorena Portuonod chipped in 11 points. USA setter Micah Christenson managed three points, two blocks and an ace in the loss.
“Of course I am happy with the result but we have to keep in mind that we still have not won anything,” Sir Sicoma Colussi PERUGIA head coach Lorenzo Bernardi said. “Tomorrow we will play an incredibly strong team – but I repeat what I said yesterday already: today we beat the favourites of this competition. Tomorrow we will be the underdogs and play with the same intensity and joy we showed today. I always try to keep my players as motivated as possible and I did so after we lost badly to TRENTINO in the semis of the national league. Anything can happen and it is in our hands to make it happen again.”
Perugia built up an 8-5 lead at the changeover in Set 5. The teams were tied at 3 and 4, before three kills and a block gave the host team the three-point edge. The hosts built a five point lead at 11-6 and continued on to a 14-8 edge. A service error thwarted the first of six potential set-point chances, before a kill ended the night and put Perugia into the finals to face defending champions Zenit Kazan. Perugia downed three blocks and denied several more balls in the final stanza.
A late run gave Perugia a 22-16 lead in Set 1, which the home team went on to win 25-19. Lube took a 15-12 lead midway through Set 2. Perugia tied it up at 20-all, but could not hold off the 25-22 Lube victory.
Perugia jumped out to an 10-3 lead in Set 3 and carried the advantage to seven at 16-9. Lube cut the margin to four at 17-13, but a plethora of errors aided the 25-19 Perugia win.
Lube led Set 4 10-6 but Perugia chipped away cutting the margin to one at 17-16. A stuff by Stankovich gave Lube a three-point edge at 19-16. A controversial play resulted in a Lube challenge on a block touch call. Despite seemingly blatant video evidence of the blocked ball bouncing off a Perugia player, the challenge was denied making it a one-point game at 19-18. Lube called timeout and regrouped, serving up two aces in the final eight points en route to the 25-20 win to send the match to a fifth set . Perugia did save two set points with a hitting error and a block before Lube tooled the block for the win.