Vienna, Austria. SK Zadruga AICH/DOB secured their first, historic Austrian national cup title on Sunday evening after storming to a 3-1 home victory (25-27, 26-24, 25-18, 25-19) in the matchup with VCA AMSTETTEN NÖ.
The hosts had to fight hard for their success against an opponent with an impressive record – 4 titles from 7 finals – in the competition. Even though they were yet to take a set from AICH/DOB this season, AMSTETTEN knew how to use their chances in the cup final. It was not until the middle of the third set that the hosts managed to gain a little more self-confidence. The service pressure increased, as well as their efficiency in attack and the effectiveness of their block. AMSTETTEN fought as much as they could in the fourth set, but eventually too many errors cost them the opportunity to go for a tiebreak. After 102 minutes, Lukas Kühl used the third match ball to seal the first national cup title in history for the team from Carinthia. Victor Miranda de Alcantara (19) and Arvydas Miseikis (16) top scored for the winners, as Eduardo Romay registered 30 for the losers.
“We started nervously and we put too much pressure on ourselves,” Kühl commented after the match.
In the women’s final, ASKÖ Steelvolleys LINZ-STEG claimed the title for the third time in their history as they beat defending champions UVC Holding GRAZ 3-1 (25-17, 18-25, 25-13, 25-23) in a truly thrilling match. The two teams played with high intensity, with many spectacular defence actions making it difficult for the spikers to score. LINZ-STEG were dominant in the first and third sets, while GRAZ imposed their pace in the second. Despite leading 16-11 in the fourth set, UVC Holding GRAZ could not hold on to their advantage – with LINZ-STEG fighting back to 22-22 before cashing their second match point, courtesy of eventual MVP Milena Spasojevic. Spasojevic and Nikolina Maros top scored for LINZ-STEG with 15 points apiece, as Ursula Ehrhart registered 21 for GRAZ in their losing effort.
“It is an unbelievable feeling! Today we had the better end. Every title brings with it a different feeling; you do not think about what you accomplished last year. Now we have a title and we hope to be able to get a second one in the national league,” Maros said.
With COVID-19 protocols in place and no fans on site, ORF Sport+ provided live broadcasting of both finals nationwide.