Zenit Kazan Wins Its First Ever FIVB Club WCH Title

  0 Liam Smith | December 17th, 2017 | Asian Volleyball, Brazilian League, Brazilian Volleyball, European volleyball, International Volleyball, Italian League, News, Polish League, Pro Indoor, Russian League, South American Volleyball


Fourth time was the charm for Zenit Kazan as the Russian powerhouse was finally able to win the only title missing in its history as a club. Lube put up a good fight, giving the Russians their toughest game of the tournament, which is not saying much, since Kazan was still able to close the deal at 3-0. Zenit Kazan didn’t lose a single set in the whole tournament. Meanwhile, Sada/Cruzeiro was able to make it to the podium by beating Poland’s Skra Belchatow. Below you’ll find all info from today’s games:

Team of the Day: Zenit Kazan

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⚡⚡⚡ Чествование наших чемпионов состоится 21 декабря в Центре волейбола после матча Лиги Чемпионов #ЗенитБерлин😉 Ждем всех и каждого на этом красочном и важном событии👉go.zenit-kazan.com #ЗенитКазань #ЛЮДИZ

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After three failed attempts, Zenit Kazan are finally crowned champions of the world, in a tournament where it didn’t lose a single set and completely dominated all of its competition. This was the only title missing in Zenit Kazan‘s very lustrous existence.

Player of the Day: Wilfredo Leon

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🚀Поехали! Казань и Россия сегодня не спит! Главный матч года! Финал Клубного Чемпионата Мира #ЗенитЧивитанова 📺Прямая трансляция встречи на➡ Матч! Наш спорт, youtube Fivb 💥Лучшие моменты игры только на➡twitter.com/volleyzenit #ЗенитКазань #ЛЮДИZ

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Leon was adamant in not letting anyone take his spotlight this time around. He was locked in a hitting war against fellow Cuban Osmany Juantorena, who also had a brilliant light, but came out victorious in the end through sheer determination and disciplined play. He is without a doubt volleyball’s most complete player.

FIVB Recaps

Gold Medal Match: Zenit Kazan x Lube Civitanova

After three failed attempts, Zenit Kazan are finally crowned champions of the world, following their solid win over Italian champions Cucine Lube Civitanova 3-0 (27-25, 25-19, 25-22). It took Zenit less than an hour and a half to seal the deal.

Zenit had finished runners-up to Sada Cruzeiro in the two previous Club World Championship, but can now add the world trophy to their already impressive collection of multiple European and Russian titles.

Things could have been a bit different if Lube hadn’t missed a chance to take the first set when they fumbled on a counter-attack in their first of two set points, before Zenit rallied to finish it on their own first try.

Lube tried to press from the service line, but stumbled against the block Kazan, who had Wilfredo Leon produce an excellent attacking performance of 65% (15/23) for a total of 19 points, with Maxim Mikhaylov adding another 12.

Here are the post match reactions:

Wilfredo Leon, Zenit Kazan outside hitter: “The emotions tonight are really high. I never play for being the MVP, so I want to congratulate Osmany Juantorena. I’m always playing for the team, like all of my teammates. I played for the gold medal and I did my job. It’s our first gold medal in this competition, so we are very happy with what we’ve done here.”

Alexey Verbov, Zenit Kazan libero: “I have two silvers and the gold now. I don’t remember the last period of my life when I was so happy like I am now. The Champions League title was great, everybody was happy, but today for us the victory was the main goal. We have won already all tournaments. This one was something out of space for us. It was always hard to play against the Brazilian champions, but yesterday we defeated them finally. For last five years the Club World Championship title was our goal, now everybody is happy and we can only think about this moment.”

Giampaolo Medei, Cucine Lube Civitanova Coach: “For sure we are not happy today about the result, because I think we played at the same level as our opponents. But tonight we lost 3-0. We had some chances, especially during the first set and we didn’t use them. My team wanted to play for the first place here, but I think when we sum up the whole tournament we did an amazing job in the Club World Championship. Tonight we played good volleyball against probably the best team in the world, so I am confident about the future.”

Osmany Juantorena, Cucine Lube Civitanova, MVP of the tournament: “It’s a pity, because I think we could have won, especially if in the first set some things would have gone differently. We missed to many chances, but Zenit played very well. I’m really happy with the MVP award, but honestly I would have prefered to be the winner tonight.”

Jenia Grebennikov, Cucine Lube Civitanova libero: “I am really sad about the first set, because we truly fought with Kazan. If we would use any of the set balls we could change the flow of the game. Our game was good, but not enough to beat Russians. They are too strong and they made less mistakes. Of course it would be better to win the tournament, but in general I am satisfied of the whole week in Poland, because we played well. I hope we will play in other competitions as good as here.”

Bronze Medal Match: Sada/Cruzeiro x Skra Belchatow

Sada Cruzeiro regrouped after their semifinal defeat to sweep a dispirited and uninspired Skra Belchatow 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-13) and claim the bronze medal at the 2017 FIVB Men’s Club World Championship.

It is the fifth Club World Championship medal for the Brazilian side, who were crowned world champions three time in 2013, 2015 and 2016 and also had a silver in 2012.

At no moment in the game did Skra seriously threaten Sada Cruzeiro, who fully controlled the situation, both in performance and score-wise.

Yoandy Leal led the scoring for Sada Cruzeiro with 15 points and Evandro Guerra added another 13. The Brazilian champions outplayed the local side in all skills, but were especially efficient in attacking with an overall kill ratio of 69% (46/67).

Here are the post match reactions:

Marcelo Mendez, Sada Cruzeiro Coach: “I’m really happy with today’s match. I think we played really well. I would like to wish Skra a nice PlusLiga performance, because they have a really good team and coach. I’m also happy that we played against such good teams from the country which really loves volleyball.”

Felipe Ferraz, Sada Cruzeiro Captain: “For us it was a pleasure to play in a such an amazing place. The third place for us is an important thing, because it was really hard to defend the title, so we are very happy.”

Roberto Piazza, Skra Belchatow Coach: “It’s amazing because they give us a great lesson of volleyball. I’m so happy, because we played against the three best teams in the world in this tournament – Zenit, Lube, Sada. Now we need to feel the difference between our volleyball and theirs, so we can take a step forward in the nearest future.”

Mariusz Wlazly, Skra Belchatow Captain: “Congratulations to Sada and I think this the best comment for this match.”


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