HAOK Mladost ZAGREB will be locking horns with defending champions ACH Volley LJUBLJANA in the gold medal match of the men’s MEVZA League on Sunday night!
In the opening match of the Final Four tournament at the JUFA-Arena Bleiburg, Croatia’s reigning national champions ZAGREB came from one set down to defeat CEV Champions League participants OK Merkur MARIBOR 3-1 (22-25, 28-26, 25-21, 25-16). Boris Busa (22) and Kruno Nikacevic (20) were the top scorers for the winning team, as Ahmed Abulubaba Khbayri (19) and Uros Pavlovic (13) registered the most points for MARIBOR. The match stats: attack 51% vs 40%, aces 10 vs 6, winning blocks 19 vs 12, reception 50% vs 48% and opponent errors 20 vs 24.
Later that evening, the eleven-time MEVZA League winners from Ljubljana went as the clear favourites into the clash with Final Four tournament hosts SK Zadruga AICH/DOB. And the ‘Orange Dragons’ – unbeaten in the regular season – also lived up to the role, because they needed 77 minutes to celebrate a clean sweep (25-21, 25-18, 25-22). Bogdan Tanase was on the sidelines as AICH/DOB’s new head coach for the first time.
Aich/Dob sports director Martin Micheu said: “ACH Volley are an incredibly good team. Nevertheless, we kept up very well at times. If we had not repeatedly made mistakes in decisive situations, we could have done better. I take my hat off to this top team from Ljubljana, their victory was fully deserved.”
ACH Volley’s Alen Sket and Nikola Gjorgiev topped the chart of the best scorers with 13 and 12 points, while AICH/DOB’s Xander Ketrzynski managed to put 11 to his name. The match stats: attack 57% vs 34%, aces 3 vs 2, winning blocks 7 vs 8, reception 44% vs 28% and opponent errors 21 vs 28.
The bronze medal match is due to take place on Sunday at 4 p.m., while the grand finale of the 2021-2022 edition will start three hours later.
The women’s competition will reach its climax on February 23 and 24. Besides regular season winners OK Calcit KAMNIK, hosts VB NÖ Sokol/Post SCHWECHAT and Vasas Óbuda BUDAPEST, Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR have qualified for the Final Four tournament. However, before the highly anticipated final stage will take place at the Posthalle Vienna, the main phase is ending this weekend. On Saturday, Sokol/Post cruised to a 3-0 (25-12, 28-26, 25-14) win over bottom-of-the-table OK Marina KASTELA. In the last regular season’s match played on Sunday afternoon, these two teams will be facing each other once again in Maribor.
Men’s MEVZA League, Final Four in Bleiburg
Women’s MEVZA League, regular season
19.02.: SVS Post SCHWECHAT (AUT) vs. OK Marina KASTELA (CRO) 3-0 (25-12, 28-26, 25-14)
20:02., 14:00: OK Marina KASTELA (CRO) vs. SVS Post SCHWECHAT (AUT)
Final Four in Vienna
23.02., 16:30: Vasas Óbuda BUDAPEST (HUN) vs. Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR (SLO)
23.02., 19:00: OK Calcit KAMNIK (SLO) vs. VB NÖ Sokol/Post SCHWECHAT (AUT)
24.02., 10:30: bronze medal match
24.02., 13:00: gold medal match