Honor and ransom. The terrible boys of Italvolley beat the defending champions of Serbia 3-1 and on Sunday (20.30) the European title will be played against Slovenia, already beaten in the first phase of the tournament. At the Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland, the blues of Fefè De Giorgi rewrite history and cancel the ugly exit from the Tokyo Olympics. A sporting era seems to have passed and instead within a month and a half Italy of volleyball has regained its lifeblood and vigor, first with the women and now with the men who hit the continental final that had been missing since 2013. The last European Championships instead date back to 2005.
The first set is a swing of emotions. It is the Azzurri who entertain and have fun, with games that get applause and above all points from the less imaginative Serbs, evidently surprised by Italy’s ease. Alessandro Michieletto takes the chair in both phases, Pinali confirms himself as an implacable hammer and brings Italy forward by two at the right time. Sbertoli enters to detect Anzani but misses the joke and returns to the bench. De Giorgi’s boys are not discouraged, on the contrary. A challenge called by the Serbs is revealed in favor of the Azzurri and, shortly after, the electronic eye confirms the 24-24 on which Italy builds the decisive draw: on Michieletto’s serve, Serbia misses the net and the set ends in 38 ‘for Italy (27-29).
In the second fraction it begins with an error by the blues and one of the referees who did not see an infringement by the Serbs. Below two, Italy, however, immediately restarts the engine which rapidly increases revs. A lob-masterpiece by Michieletto is the symbol of blue dynamism and leads Italy by three (9-12). Galassi throws a blow that shatters the Serbian wall and gives the first set ball to the blues. Winning beat by Pinali and Italy goes two sets ahead, closing the fraction in 28 ‘at 22-25.
In the third half the pace of the blues does not decrease but Serbia keeps the light on thanks to the tireless Atanasijevic, the opposite all-rounder you find everywhere. It would take a leap to avoid risks. The leap is the Serbs who stretch at the right time with Krsmanovic and close 25-23 (23 ‘) shortening the distance.
Lightning start of the Azzurri in the fourth fraction, the 5-0 partial does not let the Serbs breathe and Kovac is forced to immediately call a time out. Italy is doing well above all in defense, conceding very little. There is no story and with head and heart the Azzurri win the set (18-25) in just 24 minutes. Italy in the final. The party has just begun.