Michael Burgmann and Sofia Arcaini claim the MVP awards
The men’s team of Markus Groeber, Michael Burgmann, Peter Seeber and Thomas Berger and the women’s team of Anna Dalmazzo, Sara Breidenbach and Sofia Arcaini triumphed as the 2023 national snow volleyball champions of Italy on Sunday as they topped the podiums at the season’s final event on the Absolute Italian Snow Volleyball Championship tour held in Prato Nevoso over the weekend. Burgmann and Arcaini were honoured as the Most Valuable Players of the tournament.
16 men’s and eight women’s squads took part in the championship, with international participation from Czechia, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain and Uruguay.
Men’s silver-medallists-to-be in action (Photo credits: FIPAV)
On the way to the title, Berger - Burgmann - Groeber - Seeber lost only one of six matches played, in the third round of the double-elimination main draw bracket against Federico Geromin, Massimo Di Risio and Matteo Camozzi. The two teams met again in the gold medal game and this time Berger - Burgmann - Groeber - Seeber emerged from a fierce three-set battle as 2-1 (14-16, 25-23, 15-11) winners.
It was the second consecutive championship title for the team, which triumphed at the inaugural edition last year in Prato Nevoso with Theo Hanni instead of Thomas Berger on the squad. It was also the second silver for Camozzi - Di Risio - Geromin, who finished runners-up in 2022, with experienced Giorgio Amorosi also on the team.
Amorosi, now in a team with Filippo Galante and Manuel Ortolano, reached the third place match, but the bronze went to Atef Adel, Enrico Lupatelli and Michele Bennato, who beat them to it by 2-0 (15-7, 17-15).
Arcaini - Breidenbach - Dalmazzo also defended their women’s title from 2022. They did so without dropping a single set in four matches played. In Sunday’s final, they mastered a 2-0 (15-12, 15-13) shutout of the international partnership of 53-year-old Italian Cristiana Parenzan, 45-year-old Patricia Labee of the Netherlands and 23-year-old Italian Sharin Rottoli, who also reached the final undefeated.
Another international trio – Jacqueline De Luca, Andrea Giudici and 16-year-old Spaniard Paola De Chavarria – snatched the bronze after a 2-0 (15-13, 15-10) victory over the team of snow volleyball stars Anna Dostalova of Czechia and Silvia Poszmikova of Slovakia, and Italians Martina Tagliapietra and Matilde De Sabato in the third place match.
As many as seven members of the teams that reached the men’s and women’s semifinals – Parenzan, Tagliapietra, Groeber, Seeber, Di Risio, Lupatelli and Amorosi – were among the players who represented Italy on the inaugural FIVB Snow Volleyball World Tour in 2019. Poszmikova and 2017 European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) European Queen of the Snow Dostalova also played on the Tour as part of their national teams.
“I am very satisfied with the 2023 Italian snow volleyball season,” said Italian Volleyball Federation (FIPAV) Vice President Adriano Bilato, who attended the event in Prato Nevoso. “This year we managed to organise, also thanks to the interest of various mountain areas, as many as four stages of the Italian Snow Volleyball Championship tour. In these two days in Prato Nevoso, there was a lot of enthusiasm and fun, combined with a good general level of play. Now that this second edition of the national tournament has been archived, starting tomorrow we will have to work on the growth of this snow discipline throughout the country, also to be ready for the Winter World University Games, which will be held in 2025 right here in Piedmont.”
The 2023 Italian Snow Volleyball Championship medallists (Photo credits: FIPAV)