|2020/21||Down to the last match trying to
achieve another Champions League
The 21st season of Trentino Volley was re-designed by the gialloblù Society with the aim of increasing the team’s ambitions, despite the absence of spectators. The Pandemic, which obliged to stop the previous Championship all of a sudden, is still a shadow and forces the government to take drastic measures: at the beginning, the capacity of arenas was reduced by 25%.
Still hoping that the virus will slow down (it will be right the opposite), Trentino Volley confirms the contracts concluded during the summer in order to implement its staff. Vettori, Grebennikov, Russell, Candellaro, and Kovacevic concluded their contract, and, already at the beginning of July, coach Angelo Lorenzetti can count on a great line-up, with the one he’s ready to work hard and prepare the debut; he can still count on the bomber of last 2 seasons of SuperLega, the Dutch opposite spiker Nimir Abdel-Aziz (once in Milan), the Olympic star Lucarelli (Golden medal in Rio 2016 with the Brazilian team) and the abilities of Podrascanin (middle-blocker, once in Perugia), Kooy (spiker once in Piacenza) and Rossini (libero once in Modena), they all have experience in the Italian Championship. But there’s also a new entry: right from the youth team of Trentino, Alessandro Michieletto. Since September he plays with the team, day by day he confirms to be a great player and achieves good results. The training is long and hard, the coach has to face all the measures taken to limit the spreading of the virus and the uncountable tests, but, in the end, he manages to create a good atmosphere in the team and in occasion of the début, it achieves a victory against Civitanova during the first round of semi-final of Supercup, played in mid-September. A week later, in Marche, it is defeated and the following defeat at golden set denies the possibility to play the Final match in Verona, then won by Perugia. Due to the impossibility of Lucarelli to play and some relationship’s problems among the players, the team doesn’t start SuperLega well, during the first 7 days it is defeated 4 times and it’s announced that no spectators will be allowed to the matches. From September on, no spectators will be allowed to the matches.
The defeat at tie break on 25th October in Monza is the last one for a while; from that day on, the team only achieves victories - starting with the ones achieved in Switzerland against Dinamo Mosca and Amriswil - which will let the team have access to the round-phase of Champions League, after having passed the two preliminary rounds. Trentino Itas takes advantage of the wild card allowed by CEV and is one of the protagonists of Champions League, managing to win the first 3 matches, even without the two setters, Giannelli and Sperotto, who were stopped by Covid-19, as it happened to many other fellow players in November. For 4 matches the new setter is Nimir (he had played in that role until 2016), the team still manages to overcome Novosibirsk, the Czech team Karlovarsko, and the German Friedrichshafen, in Trento at the beginning of December.
Champions League is full of successes: the gialloblù team defeats Berlin in the double-round match that gives access to the semi-final and becomes protagonist of another deed, eliminating Perugia thanks to a great 3-0 on home field during first round, and only one defeat at tie break during the second round in Umbria. 5 years after the last time, Trentino Volley qualifies to the Final match of Champions League, to be played in Verona, on 1st May, against the Polish team Kedzierzyn-Kozle. Before such an important match, the team has time to concentrate on the semi-final of Play Off Scudetto, the team managed to qualify thanks to the double victory in final quarters against Piacenza. The phase with Civitanova, best out of 5 matches, begins in the best way possible: Lucarelli leads match one, first victory ever at Eurosuole in Civitanova Marche. But this is also the last victory of the season, given that Itas Trentino is defeated during the next matches against Lube (2 on home field for 0-3 and another one in Marche for 1-3), the team is out of the tournament.