Mladost ZAGREB and ACH Volley LJUBLJANA to battle for men’s MEVZA League crown

Mladost ZAGREB will lock horns with defending champions ACH Volley LJUBLJANA in the gold medal match of the men’s MEVZA League on Thursday evening.

In the opening match of the Final Four tournament in Zwettl, Croatia’s 18-times national champions celebrated a hard-fought 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 30-28) win against Calcit Volley KAMNIK. Mladost’s Tomislav Mitrasinovic managed to put 25 points to his name, while Boyan Yordanov top scored for the Slovenian side with 24. ZAGREB have reached the MEVZA League final for the very first time.

Radovan Malevic, head coach of Mladost ZAGREB: “We lacked concentration during the first set, but then we started to play better. At the end, we performed on a good level, but still not at our best. We are looking forward to a very interesting final. Tomorrow we can play free from any pressure, and we will see how it ends. I am sure that we will do even better than we did today.”

Stefan, Kovaceciv, player of Mladost ZAGREB: “Congratulations to my team, we performed well today – especially in reception in the fourth set. I think both sides delivered a good performance. We will see, what is going to happen in the final!”

Gasper Ribic, head coach of Calcit Volley KAMNIK: „We were in control during the first set. In the second, the serve made the difference. Due to some substitutions, we came back into the match, but in the decisive moments of the fourth set, we were a little unlucky. Congratulations to Mladost on making it to the final.”

PHOTO © Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL
PHOTO © Franz Atteneder

ACH Volley needed five sets to overcome hosts Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL in the thrilling second semi-final later on Wednesday night. The Slovenian reigning national champions, nine-time MEVZA League winners and CEV Champions League participants edged the Austrian underdogs 3-2 (22-25, 25-11, 25-19, 21-25, 15-9). Petar Dirlic was the best scorer of the match, hammering 19 points for Ach Volley, while URW’s Lars Bornemann recorded 13.

Maija Plesko, head coach of ACH Volley LJUBLJANA: “It was a really tough match today. The hosts are much better than their position in the final standing of the regular season may suggest. They played very courageous Volleyball today. Therefore, I am satisfied with the result. Congratulations to both teams on showing a great game.”

Jure Okroglic, player of ACH Volley LJUBLJANA: “We did not play on our usual level in the beginning, but in the following sets we were more focused. In the tiebreaker, we made some good serves. We won as a team today.”

Nathan Fullerton, player of Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL: “We knew we had a big challenge ahead of us, but we delivered a really good performance today. We all showed much discipline on the court. It is obvious that losing in five sets is always hard, but we will learn from today for tomorrow.”

Zdenek Smejkal, head coach of Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL : “I think, as a clear underdog we did a great job, but finally ACH Volley were a little bit better. Tomorrow we aim to give a good show to the crowd and of course we will try our best to secure the bronze medal!”

The bronze medal match is due to take place on Thursday at 6 p.m., while the 2020 edition of the men’s MEVZA League will reach its climax with the ‘big final’ starting two hours later.

PHOTO © Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL
PHOTO © Franz Atteneder

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

Men’s MEVZA League, Final Four in Zwettl

04.03.: HAOK Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) vs. Calcit Volley KAMNIK (SLO) 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 30-28)
top scorers: Tomislav MITRASINOVIC 25, Sandro DUKIC 17; Boyan YORDANOV 24, Milosz HEBDA 11, Jan PLANINC 11
match analysis: spikes 56-53, aces 7-3, blocks 21-7, opponent errors 17:30

04.03.: ACH Volley LJUBLJANA (SLO) vs. Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL (AUT) 3-2 (22-25, 25-11, 25-19, 21-25, 15-9)
top scorers: Petar DIRLIC 19, Jan POKERSNIK 15; Lars BORNEMANN 13, Arthur DARMOIS 10, Niels DE VRIES 10
match analysis: spikes 52-42, aces 4-1, blocks 15-11, opponent errors 37-35

05.03., 18:00: 3rd place match
04.03., 20:00: Final

European Cups, results MEVZA teams

CEV Volleyball Cup 2020 – Women

quarter-finals, away matches
03.03.: Grupa Azoty Chemik POLICE (POL) vs. Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-10) – leg 1: 3-0

CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 2020 – Women

quarter-finals, away matches
03.03.: Olympiacos PIRAEUS (GRE) vs. Swietelsky BEKESCSABA (HUN) 2-3 (25-17, 25-17, 20-25, 21- 25, 9-15) – leg 1: 3-1
04.03.: THY ISTANBUL (TUR) vs. ASKÖ LINZ-STEG (AUT) 3:0 (25:13, 25:15, 25:16) – leg 1: 3-0

CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup 2020 – Men

quarter-finals, away matches
04.03., 18:00: VK CEZ KARLOVARSKO (CZE) – Spor Toto SC ANKARA (TUR) 3-1 (25-21, 31-33, 25-21, 25-23); GS 12-15 – leg 1: 0-3
05.03., 20:00: Sporting Club LISBOA (POR) – Penzügyör BUDAPEST (HUN) – leg 1: 3-2

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