With Poland and Serbia moving south to Katowice for the conclusion of EuroVolley 2021, all eyes shifted to Ostravar Aréna in Czechia for the last two quarter-finals. First up Italy were to face Germany for a spot in the semi-finals against the reigning champions Serbia, while late that evening the hosts were going up against Slovenia after they dumped the Olympic Champions out of the competition on Monday.
Italy 3-0 Germany (25-13, 25-18, 25-19)
After Italy won each of the first five encounters between these sides, Germany won the most recent one in 2017. Italian Coach Ferdinando DE GIORGI may reflect in the future that this is a transition period for his side, but right now they are very much living in the here and now.
From the off they were one step ahead of the German side in all areas of the game and were in control of each set before they reached the mid-way point. Coach of Germany, Andrea GIANI did all he could by shuffling his pack and even replacing GROZER with WEBER in 2nd & 3rd set could not change the momentum. Serving and blocking are both essential to any team with aspirations of winning a volleyball match, and here Italy produced four aces to none and twelve blocks to two.
Top scorer was again Alessandro MICHIELETTO with 13 points, and he will be one to watch as Italy face Serbia on Saturday.
“Today we played very well. We had a strong serve, great attacks and also good reception. It was probably our best match of the tournament. I hope we will play like this in the semi-finals. This was our last appearance in Ostrava and I have to say I really enjoyed it. After Covid pause it was so cool to see people back in their seats.”Giulio Pinali
Czech Republic 0-3 Slovenia (21-25, 19-25, 25-27)
The silver medalists of the previous edition of EuroVolley took revenge on Czech Republic, after they suffered defeat from the hosts in the opening encounter of Pool B. Slovenia from the beginning of the game dominated on the court, in the opening set Toncek Stern (7 points) and captain Tine Urnaut (6) led the team to an emphatic win getting wind under their wings.
The hosts tried their best to tie the score, Jan Galabov scored 6 points, but it was not enough. Dejan Vincic who celebrated this day his 35th birthday, led well-balanced game as his team reached 76% of success in attack in the second set.
In the third part, the hosts took an early lead, but Slovenia was determined to grab a straight set-win and book their spot in the final four. Toncek Stern contributed with 19 points including 17 kills, 1 stuff an 1 ace. They now face host Poland in the first semi-final.