On Saturday night, Men’s MEVZA League defending champions and table leaders ACH Volley LJUBLJANA claimed a compelling 3-0 (25-17, 25-11, 25-17) home victory over Mladost Ribola KASTELA from Croatia. As a result, the dominant Slovenian team since many years improved their win-loss record to 8-2 and are just a step away from securing the top spot in the main round.
“It is really nice to begin 2020 with such an impressive home win. I am happy with the performance my players showed on the court today. We have a busy week with the national Cup Finals ahead. To win this title is one of our main goals for the current season. Tomorrow we will rest but on Monday we will start our preparations for the Cup Finals”, ACH Volley head coach Matija Plesko explained.
Last year’s runners-up SK Zadruga AICH/DOB celebrated a hard-fought 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-19, 33-31) win on home soil against Calcit Volley KAMNIK. Therefore, the Austrian reigning national champions moved up to second place in the current standing, one point in front of their rivals from Slovenia. “Another three very important points in our quest for a Final Four spot! Our players delivered a very convincing performance and showed an awesome fighting spirit. I am perfectly satisfied,” AICH/DOB Sports Director Martin Micheu said after the sixth win in the eleventh match his team has contested so far.
Fourth-placed Mladost ZAGREB from Croatia also improved their chances of securing a Final Four spot by edging bottom of the table Mladost BR?KO (BIH) in straight sets (25-21, 25-20, 26-24).
In the women’s competition the confident table leaders Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR extended their winning streak to nine matches in a row, when they dispatched GEN-I Volley NOVA GORICA 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 28-26) in a Slovenian derby.
On Sunday night, Calcit Volley KAMNIK (SLO) emerged victorious from their tenth game this season, but needed five sets (29-27, 25-21, 12-25, 20-25, 15-6) to edge bottom of the table and rookies UOK Banjaluka Voley BANJA LUKA (BIH). Thus, Calcit Volley drew level with ZOK Bimal-Jedinstvo BR?KO (BIH) on 16 points each.
“In the first to sets the momentum was on our side, but in the third set our reception became weaker. Thankfully we found back on track in the tie-breaker. We will do our best to reach the Final Four tournament. We have it in our own hands”, Calcit Volley head coach Gregor Rozman explained. Radmila Markovic, head coach of the home side, was satisfied, that her team managed to come back from two sets down. “But in the tie-breaker Calcit Volley showed more quality. However, we definitely were able to hone our skills in the past weeks and when three new players will join us soon, we will become even stronger.”
On Monday, Nova KBM Branik will face Bimal-Jedinstvo!
Men’s MEVZA League
11.01.: ACH Volley LJUBLJANA (SLO) vs. OK Mladost Ribola KASTELA (CRO) 3-0 (25-17, 25-11, 25-17)
11.01.: OK Mladost BRCKO (BIH) vs. HAOK Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) 0-3 (21-25, 20-25, 24-26)
11.01.: SK Zadruga AICH/DOB (AUT) vs. Calcit Volley KAMNIK (SLO) 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-19, 33-31)
15.01., 19:00: OK Mladost BRCKO (BIH) vs. OK MARIBOR (SLO)
Women’s MEVZA League
11.01.: GEN-I Volley NOVA GORICA (SLO) vs. Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR (SLO) 0-3 (23-25, 20-25, 26-28)
12.01.: UOK Banjaluka Volley BANJA LUKA (BIH) vs. Calcit Volley KAMNIK (SLO) 2:3 (27:29, 21:25, 25:12, 25:20, 6:15)
13.01., 18:00: Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR (SLO) vs. ZOK Bimal-Jedinstvo BRCKO (BIH)
15.01., 16:30: ZOK Bimal-Jedinstvo BRCKO (BIH) vs. HAOK Mladost ZAGREB (CRO)