Mladost ZAGREB on track to claim Final Four spot after convincing win over AICH/DOB

In the men’s MEVZA League Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) cruised to a commanding 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-18) home win over last season’s silver-medallists SK Zadruga AICH/DOB (AUT) on Saturday evening. The hosts moved up to the second place in the current standing with a 7-5 win-loss record. Thus, they dramatically improved their chances of securing a Final Four tournament berth. On the contrary, AICH/DOB suffered a hard setback in their efforts to reach the climax of the competition scheduled for March 4 and 5 in Zwettl.

“Congratulations to my team. We extended our winning streak and I am very happy about that. We knew our opponent’s situation and we were well prepared for it,” Mladost ZAGREB libero Sven Sarcevic said. Head coach Radovan Malevic added: “My players delivered a very good performance – especially in blocking. They also showed great tactical discipline on the court. I am very satisfied.”

“ZAGREB deserved to win. We have to cope with some changes happening in our team,” AICH/DOB head coach Matjaz Hafner explained. Ivan Kolev, Kasper Stelmach and Peter Mlynarcik unexpectedly left the club earlier this week. Aside from that, outside-spiker Maximilian Landfahrer missed the match due to illness and just eight players were ready to play. “Mladost ZAGREB was very strong in blocking and served very well”, so AICH/DOB middle-blocker Michal Hruska.

PHOTO © CEV
PHOTO © CEV

Already on Friday, Final Four hosts Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL (AUT) left no chance to bottom of the table Mladost BRCKO (BIH), celebrating a clean sweep  (25-20, 25-20, 25-23) in the Zwettl Sports Hall to move up to the sixth place in the current standing (5-6 win-loss record).

“Despite opposite Lukasz Szarek and outside-spiker Arthur Darmois having to deal with injury and illness, respectively, my team delivered a really convincing performance,” URW coach Zdenek Smejkal was completely satisfied.

PHOTO © Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL
PHOTO © Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL

In the women’s competition Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) dispatched bottom of the table UOK Banjaluka Volley BANJA LUKA (BIH) 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-21). Therefore, the reigning Croatian champions have kept their chances alive of making it to the Final Four tournament that will be held in Nova Gorica on February 8 and 9.

Mladost ZAGREB head coach Sasa Ivanisevic : “I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate my players on their victory. This match was a good preparation for our encounter with Fatum NYIREGYHAZA in the CEV Cup eighth-finals on Wednesday.”

Mladost ZAGREB head coach Sasa Ivanisevic: “I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate my players on their victory. This match was a good preparation for our encounter with Fatum NYIREGYHAZA in the CEV Cup eighth-finals on Wednesday.”

Mladost ZAGREB libero Ana Matic: “Congratulations to my teammates. We all were really focused and did not make too many mistakes.”

Banjaluka Volley head coach Radmila Markovic: “Today was not our day. Despite that, we had our chances but we made a lot of mistakes!”

PHOTO © Mladost ZAGREB
PHOTO © Mladost ZAGREB

Men’s MEVZA League

17.01.: Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL (AUT) vs. OK Mladost BRCKO (BIH) 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-23)
18.01.: HAOK Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) vs. SK Zadruga AICH/DOB (AUT) 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-18)

22.01., 20:00: Calcit Volley KAMNIK (SLO) vs. OK Mladost Ribola KASTELA (CRO)
25.01., 18:00: ACH Volley LJUBLJANA (SLO) vs. OK Mladost BRCKO (BIH)
25.01., 18:00: OK Mladost Ribola KASTELA (CRO) vs. OK MARIBOR (SLO)

Women’s MEVZA League

18.01.: HAOK Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) vs. UOK Banjaluka Volley BANJA LUKA (BIH) 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-21)

21.01., 18:15: HOK KASTELA (CRO) vs. GEN-I Volley NOVA GORICA (SLO)
25.01., 19:00: Calcit Volley KAMNIK (SLO) vs. HOK KASTELA (CRO)
26.01., 18:00: ZOK Bimal-Jedinstvo BR?KO (BIH) vs. GEN-I Volley NOVA GORICA (SLO)
26.01., 19:00: UOK Banjaluka Volley BANJA LUKA (BIH) vs. Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR (SLO)

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