Omifer Palmi unleashed, the Italian Volleyball Super Cup is also yours!


By John

Gabbiano Mantova – OmiFer Palmi 1-3 (19-25, 25-21, 19-25, 18-25)

Seagull Mantua: Martinelli 1, Yordanov 8, Miselli 6, Novello 21, Scaltriti 5, Ferrari 12, Sommavilla (L), Catellani (L), Parolari 1, Depalma 0, Gola 0. NE Tauletta, Zanini, Masssafeli Iasi Pedroso. All. Serafini. OmiFer Palmi: Cottarelli 4, Corrado 15, Gitto 2, Stabrawa 30, Carbone 5, Maccarone 6, Iovieno 0, Donati (L), Russo 0, Rau 0. NE Amato, Pellegrino. All. Roots.

REFEREES: Colucci, Giorgianni. NOTE – set duration: 22′, 28′, 28′, 28′; total: 106′.ù

OmiFer Palmi wins the Del Monte Supercoppa A3 in front of its own fans, beating Gabbiano Mantova 3-1 in the sold out of the “Mimmo Surace” sports hall in Palmi. After winning the first set with a score of 19-25, Palmi suffers in the second set and suffers the return of Mantova, which brings the match back into balance (25-21). Upon returning to the court, however, the opposite Stabrawa takes the lead, restoring determination to the team and allowing OmiFer to win the third and fourth sets 19-25 and 18-25 respectively.

It is precisely the Polish opposite who was chosen Del Monte MVP by the journalists present and who received the award from Yvonne Schlesinger, Deputy Director of the Serie A Volleyball League. Pawel Stabrawa closed the match with 30 points, the result of 24 winning attacks, 5 blocks and 1 ace. The Del Monte® Supercoppa is the second trophy won by OmiFer Palmi this season, after the Del Monte® Coppa Italia won in the Final Four in Fano last March 3rd.

Giuseppe Ranuccio, Mayor of Palmi, and Yvonne Schlesinger presented the medals to the winning team, while the Del Monte® Supercoppa trophy was presented to Captain Carmelo Gitto by Carmelo Sestito, President of the FIPAV Calabria Regional Committee and by Yvonne Schlesinger herself.

Gabbiano Mantova, second placed team, received the medals from Carmelo Sestito and Giuseppe Magazzù, Sports Councilor of the Municipality of Palmi. The plaque was delivered by Yvonne Schlesinger and Giuseppe Mattiani, Councilor of the Calabria Regional Council. Carmelo Sestito and Yvonne Schlesinger also gave the referees, scorekeepers and Video Check staff a souvenir of the event.

Returning to the match, Mantova presents itself with the diagonal setter-opposite composed of Martinelli and Novello, Yordanov and Scaltriti in the band, in the center we find Ferrari and Miselli, the libero is Catellani. Palmi instead relies on the direction of Cottarelli, opposite Stabrawa, in the squad there are Corrado and Carbone, in the center Maccarone and Gitto, the libero is Donati.

In the first set the balance was broken at 10-10, with Palmi achieving a break of 0-3 and going on to lead 10-13 thanks to Cottarelli's block. The attack always hits the block, this time with Corrado, who gives his team +5 (11-18), but Mantova doesn't accept it and closes the gap to 18-22 (winning attack by Novello). Corrado finds the set ball (19-24), then Maccarone takes care of immediately closing the game: Palmi makes him the partial 19-25 and takes the lead to 0-1.

Study phase also at the start of the second set, but this time it is Gabbiano Mantova who finds the first break and breaks away at 11-7 with Martinelli, extending with Yordanov serving (15-10) and forcing coach Radici to time-out. Novello continues to push in serving and in attack, Stabrawa tries to keep OmiFer afloat (19-16), but the gap is now too wide and Mantova can take home the set without problems 25-21.

In the third set OmiFer returns to the field with a different attitude and, as in the first set, they try to escape starting from 10-10, finding the double advantage thanks to a winning attack by Stabrawa, which is worth 10-12. Pushed by their fans, the hosts never missed a shot again and took a lead of 14-21 when Cottarelli put a ball on the ground, the result of an excellent collective action. The Gabbiano recovers something in the final, but despite this Palmi closes 19-25 with a block from Stabrawa which brings his team back into the lead in the sets: 1-2.

In the fourth set Stabrawa picks up where he left off and scores the 7-10 directly from 9 metres, continuing his personal show in attack, where he continues to be Cottarelli's main target. The rest of the set is almost a monologue for OmiFer, who reaches the maximum advantage at 14-20 with Maccarone and wins the match ball at the score of 17-24. Mantua cancels one, but Stabrawa's winning diagonal is worth 18-25 for OmiFer and the party, for coach Radici's boys and for the Palmi crowd, can begin.

Small note of colour: at the end of the match Davide Pellegrino, setter of OmiFer Palmi, proposed marriage to his partner Carla.

The words of the protagonists

Luca Martinelli (Gabbiano Mantova): “We played until the second set, we were there, but in the third we weren't able to manage some mental errors. In these matches, whoever is hungriest wins, and we weren't able to field the right amount of them. In the second set we hit a few more winning serves which gave us a bit of energy, while in the third set we dropped a bit. However, we have seen that by playing at 100% we can stay there, the objective now is the promotion play-off with Macerata, we reset at Easter and aim for promotion”.

Francesco Cottarelli (OmiFer Palmi): “I'm very happy, it wasn't an easy match and repeating ourselves after Fano wasn't easy. We arrived in Fano as outsiders, but today, in front of our audience, we demonstrated that our victory was not a coincidence. After the second set, in which we shut down a bit, we looked at each other and looked for the right positive energy, we were good at finding it and putting it on the court immediately afterwards. Personally, I have grown a lot this season, but I have to thank Palmi who made this group available to me to propose this type of game. I'm happy with my journey and I would like to move up to A2 with Palmi. Our audience was wonderful, it's nice to see people here who are hungry for volleyball of a certain level, our request is to continue to stay close to us. Now we no longer have to think about these victories, but race by race for the rest of the season.”