On Saturday night, Slovenian cup winners OK Calcit KAMNIK hosted Slovenia’s national champions OK Merkur MARIBOR in the opening round of the Men’s MEVZA League 2022/2021. The away team finally emerged victorious from a very exciting derby 3-1 (32-34, 25-18, 26-24, 25-23). MARIBOR’s Ahmed Ikhbayri was the player of the match after delivering an impressive performance that saw him finishing on a total of 29 points. KAMNIK’s Jan Klobucar managed to put 22 points to his name.
Matija Plesko, head coach of Calcit Volley: “Tonight we had a lot of problems in attacking, especially because the reception was not the most ideal. Besides that, Mitja Gasparini was not able not play. However, this is no excuse for the defeat. I am very glad that there were spectators back in the stands again after a long time. I think, we were too predictable in some decisive situations. We tried to stop an excellent Ahmed Ikhbayri, but unfortunately we were not successful in doing so.”
Sebastijan Skorc, head coach of Merkur Maribor: “Overall, we delivered a very good performance, this applies to all players. We played very well in defense, but it is true that Calcit Volley suffered the absence of Mitja Gasparini. Regardless of that, we are happy with the first three points and we are aware that this is just the beginning of the season.”
TJ Spartak MYJAVA and VKP BRATISLAVA locked horns on Friday evening. The away team celebrated a 3-1 (25-21, 25-17, 24-26, 29-27) victory in the Slovakian derby. VKP BRATISLAVA participate in the MEVZA League for the first time since 2008. “It was a valuable victory over a strong opponent. The first two sets were very good on our side, and I have nothing to complain about that. It’s a pity that we made unnecessary mistakes in the middle of the third set. That’s why the hosts came back into the game. In the fourth set, it could have gone either way, one point decided. It was definitely our best performance so far,” VKP Bratislava head coach Matus Kalny was satisfied.
Already on Thursday, last season’s Final Four hosts Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL claimed a hard-fought 3-2 (25-23, 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 15-10) win at Austria’s national champions UVC Holding Graz in the season opener. Graz manager Frederick Laure: “We saw another thrilling match between these two teams. We certainly have not reached our full potential yet, but it was a good step in that direction. Now we have to focus on the CEV Champions League match in Slovakia against Rieker UJS KOMARNO next week.”
The Men’s MEVZA League is going to resume next Wednesday, when Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL will be hosting VKP BRATISLAVA and OK MERKUR MARIBOR will clash with TJ Spartak MYJAVA. Furthermore, the highly anticipated women’s season opener between VB NÖ SOKOL/POST and Vasas Óbuda BUDAPEST is due to follow in Vienna on Wednesday as well. The kick-off should actually have taken place in September, but a COVID-19 outbreak resulted in the postponement of four matches.
Live streaming of all matches is available for fans to follow the competition as closely as possible.
Men’s MEVZA League
30.09.: UVC Holding GRAZ (AUT) vs. Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL (AUT) 2-3 (23-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-20, 10-15)
01.10.: TJ Spartak MYJAVA (SVK) vs. VKP BRATISLAVA (SVK) 1-3 (21-25, 17-25, 26-24, 27-29)
02.10.: OK Calcit KAMNIK (SLO) vs. OK MERKUR MARIBOR (SLO) 1:3 (34:32, 18:25, 24:26, 23:25)
06.10., 19:00: Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL (AUT) vs. VKP BRATISLAVA (SVK)
06.10., 19:30: OK MERKUR MARIBOR (SLO) vs. TJ Spartak MYJAVA (SVK)
09.10., 18:00: ACH Volley LJUBLJANA (SLO) vs. OK Calcit KAMNIK (SLO)
10.10., 18:30: UVC Holding GRAZ (AUT) vs. SK Zadruga AICH/DOB (AUT)
Women’s MEVZA League
06.10., 19:00: VB NÖ SOKOL/POST (AUT) vs. Vasas Óbuda BUDAPEST (HUN)
09.10., 19:30: HAOK Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) vs. OK Marina KASTELA (CRO)
10.10., 18:00: OK Calcit KAMNIK (SLO) vs. Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR (SLO)