On Wednesday and Thursday, the 2020 edition of the men’s MEVZA League will reach its climax with the highly anticipated Final Four tournament in Zwettl.
The opening match features Croatia’s 18-times national Champions Mladost ZAGREB and Calcit Volley KAMNIK. The Slovenian side lost the MEVZA League final two years ago against SK Zadruga Aich/Dob and secured the bronze medal in 2016 and 2019, respectively, while Mladost finished in third place three times.
“When we played against Mladost in the main round about three weeks ago, they were at their top level, while we certainly did not play as we should. Now we get the opportunity to show that we had just a bad day. However, Mladost are a strong team and if we want to beat them, we must perform really well. We need to push on the serve and, on the other hand, we have to hold the reception. Furthermore, my players should be more successful in attacking than in the national championship encounter with Krka this past Saturday,” Calcit Volley’s head coach Gasper Ribic explained.
Ribic added that a key to emerge victorious from the semi-final clash will be to operate diverse in attack. When we met Mladost the last time we played too predictably. Zagreb has a tall team and they are also very disciplined on court. If you do not take them away from the net, it is difficult to play against them.”
Immediately after the first semi-final in Zwettl, hosts UNION RAIFFEISEN WALDVIERTEL (AUT) will lock horns with main round winners and defending champions ACH Volley LJUBLJANA (SLO). ACH Volley reached the most thrilling stage of this season’s competition with a 12-2 win-loss record. Therefore, the Slovenian reigning national champions, nine-times MEVZA League winners and CEV Champions League participants are somehow the natural favourites of the competition.
The bronze medal match is due to take place on Thursday at 6 p.m., while the ‘big final’ will start two hours later.
MEVZA president Karl Hanzl: “I am delighted that Union Waldviertel is organizing this year’s MEVZA Final Four. With the city of Zwettl and the “Sportland” Lower Austria, two partners are on board to ensure a great event. In the past ten years, Union WALDVIERTEL have been successful in developing Volleyball into an attraction in the region. In addition to exciting matches in the national championship, WALDVIERTEL has been able to succeed in the MEVZA League and the European Cup in recent years. This season’s MEVZA League Final Four tournament is a further highlight in this ambitious club’s history. I wish all the participating teams as well as the organisers much success and exciting matches to the spectators!”
Final Four participants
ACH Volley LJUBLJANA (SLO)
Slovenian championship titles 16 (record), Slovenian Cup titles 11 (record), MEVZA League titles 9 (record), CEV Cup title 1
Calcit Volley KAMNIK (SLO)
Slovenian championship titles 3, Slovenian Cup titles 3, MEVZA League runners-up 1 (third place 2)
Mladost ZAGREB (CRO)
Croatian championship titles 18 (record), Croatian Cup titles 20 (record), Inter League titles 4, MEVZA League third place 3
Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL (AUT)
Austrian championship runners-up 2, Austrian Cup runners-up 1, MEVZA League fourth place 1