Reigning champions ACH Volley Ljubljana started their 2019 MEVZA League campaign. Slovenia’s dominant team in recent years suffered a surprising 0:3 (-23, -24, -22) loss against Calcit Volley Kamnik this Saturday evening.
The “Orange Dragons” are not yet in full lineup, but still a loss against Kamnik in straight sets was not expected. Coach Matija Plesko: “Kamnik fought better and had bigger desire to win. Numbers on receive and in attack were pretty close, but the wish to win the game was much higher on the guest side. Except for the first set, which was pretty close the whole time. Kamnik took the lead from the beginning and Ljubljana was chasing opponents the entire match, at the end unsuccessfully.
Last season runners-up SK Zadruga Aich/Dob hosted Union Raiffeisen Waldviertel at their JUFA Arena. Austria’s champions needed four sets to overcome their toughest national opponents in the past two years with 3:1 (14:25, 25:20, 25:19, 31:29). Aich/Dob Sportdirector Martin Micheu: “No comment on set one… We have a lot to do…”
Croatia’s participants Mladost Zagreb and Mladost Ribola Kastela faced each other in the first round as well. Mladost Ribola Kastela needed five sets to overcome Zagreb 25:20, 27:25, 18:25, 20:25, 15:10. Radovan Malevic (Coach Mladost Zagreb): “There were so many technical mistakes… We were not concentrated. I am not satisfied.” Ivan Rancic (Coach Ribola Kastela): “I was expecting a good game. I believed, we could win the match. We showed more at the end of the game.”
OK Maribor and Mladost Brcko are entering the MEVZA League main round next week. While the Slovenian team will host nine-times MEVZA League winners ACH Volley on Wednesday, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s national champions are going to make their competition debuts on home soil against Aich/Dob on October 11.
The women’s season opener is scheduled for Saturday, October 12. Both the women’s and men’s sides initially compete in a double round robin format. After completion of the main rounds, the MEVZA League reaches its climax with the Final Four tournaments in February and March (hosts will be announced in late October).
Middle European League Men 2019-20
09.10., 20:00: OK MARIBOR (SLO) vs. ACH Volley LJUBLJANA (SLO)
11.10., 19:00: Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL (AUT) vs. HAOK Mladost ZAGREB (CRO)
11.10., 19:00: OK Mladost BRCKO (BIH) vs. SK Zadruga AICH/DOB (AUT)
SK Zadruga AICH/DOB (AUT)
Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL (AUT)
OK Mladost BRCKO (BIH)
HAOK Mladost ZAGREB (CRO)
OK Mladost Ribola KASTELA (CRO)
ACH Volley LJUBLJANA (SLO)
Calcit Volley KAMNIK (SLO)
OK MARIBOR (SLO)
Middle European League Women 2019-20
12.10., 17:00: HAOK Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) vs. HOK KASTELA (CRO)
12.10., 18:00: Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR (SLO) vs. Calcit Volley KAMNIK (SLO)
12.10., 19:00: ZOK Bimal-Jedinstvo BRCKO (BIH) vs. UOK Banjaluka Volley BANJA LUKA (BIH)
PHOTO © ACH Volley Ljubljana