They say there’s no such thing as a safe bet, but backing Italian club Trentino to win the FIVB World Club Championship is about as safe as you can get. Trentino took the title for the fourth year running in Doha in October, overcoming Brazil’s Sada Cruizeiro 3-0 in the final.
Perhaps backing them not to win the Championship would have been the wiser move. Trentino failed to defend their Italian League title in 2012 and weren’t in the best of form coming into the Club World Championship, but once again – even as a wild card – they found the reserves necessary to become champions of the world.
Italian clubs have won all eight World Club Championship titles.
South American champions Sada Cruizeiro did manage to stop Skra Belchatów taking a fourth straight silver for Polish teams and the Brazilians picked up four individual awards (Best Server, Best Setter, Best Receiver and Best Libero). Trentino’s Osmany Juantorena was named MVP for the third straight year, but Skra’s Aleksandar Atanasijevic took the top scorer prize. Juantorena admitted his award was a bit of a surprise.
“The truth is that I was not expecting to win it again,” he said. “The Most Valuable Player award is really something stimulating but the credit goes to the whole squad.”
The win was a welcome shot in the arm for Trentino coach Radostin Stoychev after a troubled first half of the year with the Bulgarian national team. Stoychev, who decided to relinquish his post as coach of the Bulgarian national team, has been at the helm for all four of Trentino’s titles.
After taking a silver and bronze in the previous editions of the women’s event, Solly’s Nestle Osasco finally made it to the top for their first World crown, following a dominating 3-0 win over defending champions Rabita Baku of Azerbaijan in the final.
Solly’s Sheilla Castro was the MVP and highest scorer, while three other Brazilian players took individual honours: Thaisa Menezes (Best Spiker), Jaqueline Carvalho (Best Receiver) and Camila Brait (Best Libero). Solly’s provided the top three spikers in the tournament (Thaisa, Fernanda Rodrigues and Castro), with Jaqueline fifth.
Solly’s dropped just one set in the tournament, to Rabita in the Preliminary Round. Captain Jaqueline Carvalho described her team’s performance as “almost perfect.”
“We didn’t think this would be easy,” Jaqueline stated. “Our opponents played really well. We were up against a great team with a great coach, but we played really well.”
There was added interest in the tournament with the introduction of a video review system, similar to those employed in tennis. Sada Cruizeiro was the first team to make a challenge – on a spike by Fernanda Rodrigues. They were overruled, but Sada coach Luizomar de Moura was not unhappy.
“I knew the spike of Fernanda was out of bounds, but I wanted to take the chance and, of course, also make my way into history,” he said afterwards, adding, “I think this is going to be good for volleyball.”
More of the same next year, although the dates will change from the customary October period to May 12-19.
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