In a breathtaking match where the German team came back to level at two sets a piece, Italy finally triumphed 3-2 (25-22, 26-24, 19-25, 22-25, 15-12) securing their spot for the Olympics.
The road to the final had been relatively smooth for both teams, with Italy overcoming Serbia 3:1 (25-14, 25-19, 19-25, 25-16) and taking revenge for their defeat in by Serbia in the last European Championship. FIVB Hero Simone Parodi suffered a small injury during the match, but recovered in time to celebrate the victory with his teammates. Meanwhile Germany dominated Matey Kayiski’s Bulgaria. The hosts were rocked by the terrific serves of the Germans and could only claim one set, going down 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 25-22, 25-16).
The “Azzurri “ started the final with a show of strength going ahead 2-0 with few troubles even without FIVB Hero Simone Parodi, who was rested by coach Berruto due to his injury in the semi-final. Captain Savani took Simone’s place and didn’t disappoint with 15 points.
On the other side of the net Germany never gave up and fought back to level the match at 2-2, led in large part by Grozer, who was best scorer at the end of the match with 28 points (26 winning spikes!).
So it came down to a deciding fifth set. Italy began very well with 8-3 thanks to Lasko’s ace, but Germany didn’t feel the pressure of the tie break and continued to spike and defend hard closing to 7-10. Italy remained focused however and sealed victory with a final spike from captain Savani.
Yet another FIVB Hero joins the list of the Olympic participants, and his name is Simone Parodi! Good luck to him and to his team as they battle to win Olympic gold!