OK Merkur MARIBOR (SLO) will lock horns with defending champions ACH Volley LJUBLJANA (SLO) in the gold medal match of the MEVZA League on Sunday night. Volleyball fans can follow the Final Four tournament at the Zwettl sports hall through a six-camera live streaming and commentary available in English as well as in German!
In the very thrilling opening match, OK Merkur MARIBOR needed five sets (25-22, 28-26, 15-25, 22-25, 15-13) to overcome their national rivals OK Calcit KAMNIK. Ahmed Ikhbayri hammered 28 points for the winning side, while KAMNIK’s Jan Klobucar kept very close with 26. The match stats: attack 47% vs 45%, aces 12 vs 6, winning blocks 12 vs 15, reception 57% vs 41% and opponent errors 33 vs 28.
Sebastian Skorc, head coach OK Merkur MARIBOR: “We did not do anything wrong in the third and fourth set. They just delivered a very strong performance on serve. In the fifth set we were the lucky ones. Congratulations to my team. Now we have to rest und tomorrow we will play the grand finale.”
Ahmed Ikhbayri, MVP OK Merkur MARIBOR: “It was a crazy match. Suddenly KAMNIK started serving really well with so much pressure. In the end we fought for every ball, tried to push each other and finally we did it.”
Gregor Jeroncic, head coach OK Calcit KAMNIK: “We did not serve well in the first two sets. Besides that, we were not aggressive enough. In the third set, we started to serve better and, on the other hand, we were able to improve significantly in defense. In the fifth set we made some wrong decisions and also a lot mistakes!”
ACH Volley LJUBLJANA cruised to a comprehensive win over hosts Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL (AUT) in the second semi-final later on Saturday night. The ten-time MEVZA League winners and participants in the CEV Champions League pool stage went as the clear favourites into the clash with last year’s bronze-medallists. ACH Volley also lived up to the role, because they needed just 66 minutes to celebrate a clean sweep (25-17, 25-16 25-13).
Bozidar Vucicevic topped the chart of the best scorers on 18 points, while URW’s Koendert Daan Streutker managed to put 8 to his name. The match stats: attack 52% vs 30%, aces 8 vs 0, winning blocks 8 vs 8, reception 67% vs 55% and opponent errors 17 vs 18.
Matija Plesko, head coach of ACH Volley LJUBLJANA: “We played on our top level today and the result is the reflection of our performance. Many thanks to Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL for organising this tournament! The Zwettl sports hall looks great, so we can play good Volleyball.”
Zdenek Smejkal, head coach of Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL: “We did not have any chance today. ACH Volley was better in every way. They especially put a lot of pressure on us with the serve. Congratulations to ACH Volley on reaching the final. We now have to focus on Calcit KAMNIK!”
The bronze medal match is due to take place on Sunday at 5 p.m., while the 2020-2021 edition of the MEVZA League will reach its climax with the grand finale starting three hours later.
MEVZA League, Final Four tournament (Zwettl sports hall)
28.02., 17:00: Calcit KAMNIK (SLO) vs. Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL (AUT) – LIVESTREAM: ENGLISH | GERMAN
28.02., 20:00: ACH Volley LJUBLJANA (SLO) vs. OK Merkur MARIBOR (SLO) – LIVESTREAM: ENGLISH | GERMAN