In the final of the MEVZA League, organised by Calcit Volley, the Hungarian volleyball team Swietelsky-Bekescsaba defeated Nova KBM Branik 3:0 (17, 25, 16) in the Kamnik Sports Hall. This is the third MEVZA League title for the Hungarians, while the Maribor players stayed with four. The men’s final will be played at 19:00 between home team Calcit Volley and ACH Volley.
Nova KBM Branik – Swietelsky-Bekescsaba 0:3 (-17, -25, -16)
Kamnik – Kamnik Sports Hall, 100 spectators, referees.
Nova KBM Branik: Mlakar 9, Milosic 7, Pogacar 3, Stampar 4, Klajzar (L), Lekse 9, Senekovic, Cikac (L), Farkas, Ramic 3, Potokar, Lorber Fijok 9, Kranjc. Coach: Bruno Najdic.
Swietelsky-Bekescsaba: Drpa 14, Kertesz (L), Vasileva 10, Glemboczki, KArhu, Oljinik, Bodnar 14, Pinter 2, Molcsanyi (L), Aktash 5, Mosher, Bagyinka 3. Coach: Gabor Toth.
Maribor’s players defeated Calcit Volley for the second time in a row in Velenje last Saturday to win the Slovenian Cup title for the 19th time in their history, and before that, it was in Kamnik where they prevented the reigning Slovenian national champions from playing in the final of the MEVZA League. Their opponent was Swietelsky-Bekescsaba, which they beat 3-0 at home in the regular season of the MEVZA League, but the Hungarians were already guaranteed a place in the semi-finals of the play-offs before this match, in which they eliminated Mladost Zagreb.
The Hungarian team entered the final with more energy, leading 7:4 with an ace by Marta Drpa and 10:5 after another ace by Ralice Veselinova Vasilova. The Maribor players did not play well on offense, nor was their reception at its highest level, and when Drpa scored another ace, they were already eight points behind (12:20). The set was thus decided, with Fanni Bagyinka confirming Bekescsaba’s victory.
In the second set, the NOVA KBM Branik Maribor improved their reception game, but still lacked efficiency in attack. Nevertheless, after an error by the Hungarian women in the middle of the set, they took a 14:11 lead. Then the Slovenian Cup winners again had a period of poorer play, which their opponents took advantage of, and with another ace, this time by Bagyinka, they took a 17:15 lead. But in the end of the set, Bruno Najdic’s team came back into the game, first with an ace by Tali Lekse to tie the score at 21:21, and Lorena Lorber Fijok led her team to a 22:21 lead. After a mistake by the Hungarian team, they got two final balls to tie the set, but Drpa tied the score and finally converted a second final ball to give Bekescsaba a 2-0 lead in the set.
But in the third set, Maribor repeated the mistakes of the first set. In addition to poor reception, they were not very effective in attack. Until the seventh point, they kept up with the Hungarian volleyball players, who escaped by five points (13:8) after a block by Drpa, and did not let the big lead slip out of their hands. Two consecutive points by Dortottya Bodnar, who was also named player of the match, brought them to a seven-point lead, but Vasileva ended the match.
Bruno Najdic, coach of Nova KBM Branik: “I wanted and hoped that we would play at a higher level, but we didn’t come into the game focused and aggressive enough, and we made too many mistakes of our own. If we had won the second set, in which we raised our level of play a bit, maybe the continuation of the game would have been different, but in the third set there was no real resistance anymore. I have the feeling that the players didn’t believe enough that they could win this match and that after winning the Slovenian Cup title we were not psychologically ready for this final. I’m sorry that we didn’t play better, for the sake of our fans, but I hope that we will play better again at the end of the national championship.”