The final two spots in the CEV Champions League Final Four were decided Thursday as Cucine Lube Civitanova and defending CEV champion Zenit Kazan picked up 3-0 sweeps of their respective competitions.
Cucine Lube Civatanova, of the Italian Serie A, downed league rival Azimut Modena in Civitanova, Italy. Lube won the match 25-21, 25-21, 25-18. Last week, Lube dropped Modena via sweep (25-23, 25-18, 29-27) in Modena.
“The team was good at finding the mental strength which was required to play both matches of this Italian derby, which has been a very big battle, as we expected,” CIVITANOVA coach Gianlorenzo Blengini told CEV. “We are very happy and proud to get the qualification to the Final Four, as the CEV Volleyball Champions League is the most important European competition, so also the biggest target for our club. In Rome we’ll do our best to improve on the bronze medal that we got last year in Poland.”
Watch video from Thursday’s match here.
The Lube Civatanova roster includes setter Micah Christenson, who played collegiately at USC and is a member of the U.S. national team. Christenson managed one block and one kill on Thursday.
The Azimut Modena roster includes Max Holt, a Penn State product and 2016 U.S. Olympic team member. Holt accounted for five points – three kills, one block and an ace – in Thursday’s match.
Full stats from the match are here.
Zenit Kazan, of the Russian Super League, swept league foe Belogorie Belgorod 25-22, 30-28, 25-21, in Belgorod, Russia, to claim the final semifinal spot.
Zenit started its Final Four push with a 3-1 win over league foe Belogorie Belgorod. Zenit, which won the CEV title in 2015 and 2016, won the match 25-14, 25-17, 23-25, 26-24 in Kazan, Russia. Belogorie won the CEV title in 2014.
Zenit features Matt Anderson, opposite from the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, who played collegiately at Penn State. Anderson accounted for 12 points in Thursday’s match, managing eight kills and four aces.
Watch the match here.
Lube and Zenit Kazan joins Berlin Recycling Volleys and host Sir Sicoma Colussi PERUGIA in the Final Four, which is set to be played in Rome, April 29-30. BR Volleys will play Zenit Kazan followed by Lube vs. Perugia. BR Volleys earned its spot with a 3-2 win over Dynamo Moscow on Wednesday.