Both victories in today’s matches of the MEVZA Men’s Final Four tournament presented by Zadruga went to the teams from Slovenia. Defending champions and hosts SK Posojilnica Aich/Dob were beaten by ACH Volley Ljubljana in the final in three sets. Union Raiffeisen Waldviertel lost last year’s finalist Calcit Volley Kamnik 1 – 3. The JUFA Arena was sold out with approximatly 1.200 spectators.
The guests from Ljubljana definitely got the better start into the final. The Champions League team from Slovenia won the first round in less than half an hour with 25-17. ACH Volley Ljubljana was highly concentrated right from the start and very well prepared for their opponents from Bleiburg. The second set developed into an open exchange of blows, the lead changed several times. Although the Carinthians were up to three points ahead from the middle of the run, ACH had the first set ball at 24-23, which they could use – especially bitterly – with a technical mistake on side of Aich/Dob. In the third set the resistance was broken, ACH played his whole class and won the MEVZA title without losing a set. “I am very proud of my team because we deserved to win. In Bleiburg it’s always difficult, because Aich/Dob plays pretty strong with the crowd behind him. We didn’t expect the victory. Only that we fight for every ball. And that’s what we did”, Andrej Urnaut said rightafter the match point. Aich/Dob coach Matjaž Hafner adds: “We didn’t use our chance in the second set. Today ACH was simply stronger. The five sets from yesterday are of course still in our legs, that’s no excuse, but against a top team every little thing counts.”
Third place for Kamnik
In the end it was a clear thing for the number two from Slovenia. Calcit Volley Kamnik won against the Austrian runner-up in four sets. Only in the second set the “Nordmännern” managed to fully challenge the Slovenians. Especially from the third set on, Kamnik was superior to the Waldviertlers in all respects, which ultimately meant bronze for Slovenia. “One noticed the Waldviertlern the long match yesterday evening. And we were able to call up our expected performance in all areas. We are happy about bronze after silver last year”, says Aleš Hribar, Head Coach of Calcit Volley Kamnik.
Comments on the games:
Boštjan Ver?i?, ACH Volley Ljubljana:
“After the national cup, we won the MEVZA and so our second title this season. Now we are missing the national title for the triple. After our performances here in Bleiburg, we are naturally full of self-confidence and look forward optimistically to the end of the season”.
Martin Micheu, Manager SK Posojilnica Aich/Dob:
“The event was a win for Austrian volleyball, full house, great atmosphere. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the performance we had hoped for. ACH was fully focused from the first ball on and went “on fire” into the match. Yesterday we didn’t show our best game in the semi-final, today we played like cowards. Much too cautious.”
Werner Hahn, Manager SG Union Raiffeisen Waldviertel:
“For us it was a sensational weekend, we were involved in the concert of the big players in the MEVZA and sold ourselves very dearly in the semi-final against the defending champions of Aich/Dob and the last year’s finalists in the game for third place. We start our journey home proud and satisfied.”
Zupan Štembergar, diagonal attacker of Calcit Volley Kamnik
“We arrived here with a bitter defeat from the national championship in our luggage, had to digest third place after the basic round in Slovenia. We did that very well. Against ACH in the semifinals we didn’t manage the sensation again, they definitely didn’t underestimate us after last year’s defeat here in Bleiburg. We are satisfied with the third place and will return home with confidence for the rest of the season”.
SK Posojilnica Aich/Dob – ACH Volley Ljubljana 0 – 3 (17-25, 23-25, 15-25)
Match for 3rd place:
SG Union Raiffeisen Waldviertel – Calcit Volley Kamnik 1 – 3 (21-25, 25-23, 16-25, 23-25)