Round-up of the national volleyball events across the globe
Over the last week, Brazil, Italy, and Spain crowned their women’s super cup winners, while Poland and Türkiye held their super cup showdowns in the men’s category. The victors of the men’s super cup competition in Italy were also decided. Meanwhile, the new national league champions in both genders triumphed in Rwanda.
The women’s team of Gerdau Minas Belo Horizonte won their first national super cup in Brazil. In the final held at Belo Horizonte’s Arena, they persevered through a five-set battle to overcome the resistance of Dentil Praia Clube Uberlandia and celebrate a 3-2 (25-19, 24-26, 25-22, 21-25, 15-12) victory. Dentil’s Russian outside hitter Sofya Kuznetsova produced the match high of 33 points, while the winners were led by opposite Kisy Nascimento and Dominican outside Yonkaira Pena with 21 points each. The latter was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the match.
Reigning club world champions Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano claimed the women’s super cup title in Italy for the seventh time in history. The trophy match was held at the Modigliani Forum in Livorno on October 28. In front of almost eight thousand spectators, Imoco managed a 3-1 (26-24, 21-25, 25-23, 25-20) win over Allianz Vero Volley Milan. Imoco’s Swedish opposite Isabelle Haak scored a match-high 25 points, while her Italian counterpart on the opposite side of the net Paola Egonu finished with 21. The MVP nomination went to the winners’ Polish setter Joanna Wolosz.
The men’s super cup competition in Italy was a two-day event held last week in Biella. In Wednesday’s final, reigning club world champions Sir Susa Vim Perugia mounted a comeback from two sets down against Cucine Lube Civitanova to celebrate a thrilling 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 25-21, 34-32, 15-12) victory in front of five thousand spectators (pictured in the main photo; credits: legavolley.it). This was their fifth trophy in the history of the competition. Cucine Lube’s Turkish opposite Adis Lagumdzija was the best scorer of the match with 22 points. Polish outside hitter and captain Wilfredo Leon and Tunisian opposite Wassim Ben Tara shared the top scorer honours on the winners’ side with 21 points apiece. The latter earned the MVP award. A day earlier, Sir Susa Vim Perugia achieved a 2-1 (20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-18) semifinal win over reigning Italian champions Itas Trentino Trento, while Cucine Lube mastered a 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-18) sweep of their semifinal against Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza.
Reigning European champions Grupa Azoty ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle won their third men’s super cup in Poland last Friday, when 10 thousand fans at the sold-out Spodek hall in Katowice witnessed the team’s thrilling comeback from two sets down against Jastrzebski Wegiel Jastrzebie-Zdroj. In this 3-2 (20-25, 24-26, 31-29, 25-19, 15-12) spectacle, outside hitters Tomasz Fornal of Jastrzebski and Bartosz Bednorz of ZAKSA shared the top scorer honours with 25 points each, and the latter claimed the MVP nomination.
Gisagara have been crowned the men’s Rwanda National League 2022-2023 champions. Having finished joint top with APR in the regular season with 35 points from 14 matches, they secured victory in the end-of-season playoffs held last weekend to claim the title. They beat both Police and Rwanda Energy Group (REG) 3-0 before losing to APR 3-2 in the playoffs that featured the top four teams from the end of the regular season rankings. That seven-point tally was however enough to hand them the league title on 42 points, five ahead of APR who experienced a challenging playoffs. APR lost 3-0 to both Police and REG and picked only two points in their 3-2 win over Gisagara to end the season on 37 points. Police finished a close third with 36 points having added six points from the playoffs to their tally of 30 during the regular season.
Gisagara players celebrate a point during the Rwanda National League end of season playoffs (Photo credits: FRVB)
In the women’s Rwanda National League, Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) were unbeaten in the playoffs, beating APR 3-0, Police 3-1 and Ruhango 3-0 to reap the maximum nine points and seal the title on 34 points having amassed 25 in the regular season. APR, who had finished top in the regular season with 27 points from 10 matches, secured 6 points in the playoffs leaving them with a total of 33. Theysuffered the straight sets loss to RRA, a 3-1 win over Police and a 3-0 sweep of Ruhango. Finishing third in the women’s league was Police, after getting three points from the playoffs following the 3-0 win over Ruhango. Their overall tally was 23 points.
RRA players celebrate after winning the Rwanda National League title during the end of season playoffs (Photo credits: FRVB)
Hidramar Gran Canaria Las Palmas triumphed last Wednesday at the Santiago Martin Hall in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where the Spanish women’s super cup final took place. They delivered a 3-1 (25-16, 25-16, 20-25, 25-19) victory over Tenerife Libby's La Laguna to collect their second trophy in the history of the competition. Hidramar’s outside hitter Saray Manzano topped the scorers’ chart of the match with 22 points and earned the MVP recognition.
Ziraat Bankkart Ankara won their third Turkish men’s super cup trophy after a 3-1 (22-25, 31-29, 25-19, 25-23) win over city rivals Halkbank Ankara at the Baskent volleyball hall in the Turkish capital last Wednesday. Dutch opposite Wouter Ter Maat contributed a match-high 26 points to the victory and received the MVP honours.