With the MEVZA League men’s season opening weekend just a few days ago, the women’s edition will kick off with three fixtures this coming Saturday. Croatia’s participants Mladost Zagreb and newcomers OK Kastela will face each other in Zagreb. Another two debutants in this year’s competition, Bimal-Jedinstvo Brcko and Banjaluka Volley are going to contest the first Bosnian MEVZA League derby in history, while Slovenia’s national champions Nova Branik Maribor and Calcit Volley Kamnik are gearing up for a national clash as well.
“Our main goal is to win all national titles, as we did in the previous seasons. We are competing in the MEVZA League for the first time, but we aim to be at the top of the table. In the CEV Champions League, we see a chance to move on into the group stage”, Bimal-Jedinstvo Brcko head coach Smail Pezerovic describes the ambitions of Bosnia’s national champions.
Banjaluka Volley did not participate in either the MEVZA League or CEV Cup so far. “That’s why it’s pretty difficult to start in these competitions with too high expectations. However, we have worked hard during the past two months and are getting where we want to be. We have brought in a new receiving line, so it takes some time for the players to find the right chemistry”, Banjaluka Volley head coach Radmila Markovic explains. She believes her team will be a tough nut to crack for all MEVZA League teams, especially at home ground. “In away games, we want to gain experience, which is absolutely essential for such a young team. In the CEV Cup we will try our best and wait patiently for our chances. Regarding the national championship, Bimal Jedinstvo Brcko are still favourites, but we will try to get as close as possible.”
Calcit Volley is contesting the domestic competitions, MEVZA League and CEV Challenge Cup as well. Compared to the previous season, the team roster changed only slightly. “We just replaced the setter and added a new receiver, so we are already in a better starting situation than in 2018 and expect to get into the best possible shape earlier this season. Therefore, we set the highest goals. We certainly want to take a further step in the national competitions and MEVZA League as well. Even in the Challenge Cup we aim to get as high as possible. Everything is focused on achieving those goals and I believe we can succeed,” Calcit Volley head coach Gregor Rozman confidently says.
GEN-I Volley Nova Gorica is entering the main round next week. Last season’s runners-up from the Slovenian national league will make their MEVZA League debut at Kamnik on October 19.
More quotes from the head coaches
Calcit Volley Kamnik head coach Gregor Rozman: “We are already looking forward to the match with Nova KBM Branik. After nine weeks of preparation, the first official match of the new season is finally here. The Maribor team will indeed be playing without setter Sara Najdi? and opposite Iza Mlakar. But the club’s management brought in good replacements, the French national team member Nina Stojilkovi?, the young Austrian corrector Anamarija Gali?, and libera Maja Pahor as well. Also, their coach Radovan Ga?i? has experience from the strongest European leagues. We have a tough game ahead of us!”
PR Bimal-Jedinstvo Brcko head coach Pezerovic Smail: “I expect my team recovering successfully from the 1-3 CEV Champions League defeat at Partizani Tirana on Wednesday. We know the team of Banja Luka very well and I expect a victory in front of our home audience.”
HOK Kaštela head coach Zoran Grgantov: “Mladost Zagreb are the favourite because of their home-field advantage. We will try our bests to challenge them.”
Mladost Zagreb head coach Saša Ivaniševi?: “We are playing our opening match at home and I hope, we do well. We respect our opponents a lot. They are a strong team.”
Middle European League Women 2019-20
12.10., 17:00: HAOK Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) vs. HOK KASTELA (CRO)
12.10., 18:00: Calcit Volley KAMNIK (SLO) vs. Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR (SLO)
12.10., 19:00: ZOK Bimal-Jedinstvo BRCKO (BIH) vs. UOK Banjaluka Volley BANJA LUKA (BIH)
PHOTO © UOK Banjaluka Volley