Zenit Kazan win 2018 Volleyball Men’s Champions League

This year once again, CEV Champions League title goes to Kazan (Russia)! In one of the most thrilling games of the year, the Russian team fights until the last point in a tiebreak against Lube Cucine Civitanova (Italy) and claims the title to keep their crown over European Volleyball.

Zenit Kazan 3 – 2 Lube Cucine Civitanova

(29:27; 18:25; 23:25; 25:23; 17:15)

Zenit Kazan wins the Champions League for the 4 times in a row: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. It is the first time that a team wins 4 times in a row the Champions League. With 6 titles, Kazan is the second team with the most title in the competition. The number is still CSKA Moscow with 13 titles. There is a long way to be first but Kazan can do it with their latest winning streak but also because CSKA Moscow was dissolved in 2009.
Before this game, Lube Cucine Civitanova won only one time in the Champion’s league final. Their last final played was in 2002, sixteen years before this one.

Semi-final like last year, tough final game for Zenit Kazan

This weekend, the Zenit Kazan has two very different games. On the one hand, the first one was the semi-final against Kedzierzyn-Kozle (Poland). It was a repeat from last year and the game was similar to the one in 2017. The Russian club was dominant and reach the final with a clear 3-set victory.

On the other hand, the last game of the season was opposing Lube Civitanova against Zenit Kazan. Even though Kazan was favorite because of their previous wins. Zenith struggles until the end to claim their 5th Champions League in 7 years. Zenit Kazan was losing 2-1 before the 4th set. Without losing their nerve, Kazan was back to 2-2 to call for a tiebreak. During the tiebreak, Kazan was not losing their grip over Lube Civitanova. Wilfredo Leon Venero scores two straights point including the last one that a video challenge confirmed to keep their crown over European volleyball.


Full results of this weekend Final Four

Final Four ranking:

  1. Zenit Kazan
  2. Lube Civitanova
  3. Perugia ??
  4. Kedzierzyn-Kozle

Final – Sunday, May 13, 2018
Lube Civitanova Zenit Kazan: 2-3 (27-29, 25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 15-17)

Final for the 3rd place – Sunday, May 13, 2018
Kedzierzyn-Kozle – Perugia: 2-3 (25-17, 27-29, 25-19, 23-25, 7-15)

Semi-finals – Saturday, May 12, 2018
Kedzierzyn-Kozle – Lube Civitanova: 1-3 (21-25, 25-22, 15-25, 18-25)
Perugia – Zenit Kazan: 0-3 (22-25, 20-25, 20-25)


MVP and Dream Team of the Final Four

MVP
Maxim Mikhailov (RUS/Zenit KAZAN)

Dream Team
Outside Hitters: Osmany Juantorena Portuondo (ITA/Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA)
and Wilfredo Leon Venero (POL/Zenit KAZAN)
Middle Blockers: Dragan Stankovic (SRB/Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA)
and Marko Podrascanin (SRB/Sir Colussi Sicoma PERUGIA)
Opposite: Tsvetan Sokolov (BUL/Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA)
Setter: Alexander Butko (RUS/Zenit KAZAN)
Libero: Jénia Grebennikov (FRA/Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA)

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