Club leagues wind down ahead of FIVB season - but not yet in Italy
Tsvetan Sokolov punches through the block of Fabio Ricci and Aleksandar Atanasijevic as he leads Cucine Lube Civitanova to a win over Sir Safety Conad Perugia that extended the Italian Superleague final series to a fifth game.
With the Italian series now tied at 2-2, a champion will definetely be forthcoming on Tuesday, when the two sides clash again at Perugia's PalaBarton.
Robertlandy Simon (11) and Yoandy Leal (10) also scored in double digits for Lube, while Wilfredo Leon and Aleksandar Atanasijevic bagged 12 and 11 points respectively for Perugia.
Elsewhere in men's club action this past week, as competitions wind down ahead of the start of the FIVB season with the 2019 Volleyball Nations League later this month:
• Olympiacos Piraeus claimed their 29th championship title in Greece sweeping PAOK Thessaloniki in the best-of-five final series after only three matches. Canada's Gavin Schmitt who scored a match-high 20 points and the Netherlands' Jeroen Rauwerdink who was named the season's MVP powered Olympiacos to the deciding win 3-0 (26-24, 25-23, 25-23). Bulgaria's Todor Aleksiev and Rauwerdink scored 13 points, with Niels Klapwijk of the Netherlands bringing in 20 points for PAOK.
• VB Tours claimed the title in the Men's A League in France wrapping up the best-of-three series against Chaumont after two matches. Hermans Engleskalns of Latvia top-scored for Tours with 20 points in the deciding 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-12) win that clinched the title. Bulgaria's Martin Atanasov was best scorer of Chaumont with 10 points.
• In women's action, after finishing runners-up four times, Allianz MTV Stuttgart won the German Bundesliga title for the first time in their history, edging SCC Palmberg Schwerin 3-2 (25-12, 25-20, 14-25, 24-26, 15-11) in the fifth game of the best-of-five final series. Stuttgart were led by match and season MVP Krystal Rivers of the USA who scored 29 points on the night, with her fellow-American Sarah Wilhite adding another 15. Yet another American, McKenzie Adams, was Schwerin's best scorer on 19 points.
• Cannes claimed the title in France's A League with a 3-1 (25-21, 20-25, 25-13, 25-23) win over Nantes that clinched the best-of-three final series after two matches. Serbia's Adela Helic scored a match-high 18 points for Cannes.
• Previously, in Italy, Imoco Volley Conegliano were crowned Italian champions as they wrapped up the best-of-five final series of the Women's A1 League after only three matches against Igor Gorgonzola Novara.
Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB.com - Volleyball Nations League
FIVB.com - Volleyball
19/05/20192019 Women's VNL - Team-by-team stats preview
19/05/2019Mol and Sorum top all-European podium in Itapema
19/05/2019Get to know: USA's Jordan Larson
19/05/2019Ross & Klineman secure Itapema gold
19/05/2019Vikings Mol/Sorum return to Itapema final against Fijalek/Bryl
18/05/2019Pavan/Humana-Paredes & Klineman/Ross clash for Itapema gold
18/05/2019Novara crowned European champions at close of club season
17/05/2019Gabi values Ze Roberto’s lessons of hard work