This coming weekend, the 2021-2022 edition of the men’s MEVZA League will reach its climax with the highly anticipated Final Four tournament that will be taking place at the JUFA-Arena in Bleiburg, Austria.
The opening fixture features two reigning national champions, when OK Merkur MARIBOR will be locking horns with HAOK Mladost ZAGREB on Saturday afternoon (a t4 p.m.). Afterwards, hosts SK Zadruga AICH/DOB will be challenging defending champions ACH Volley LJUBLJANA ( at 7 p.m.). The bronze medal match follows on Sunday at 4 pm, while the grand finale will start three hours later.
ACH Volley achieved a perfect record of 16 victories from as many matches in the regular season. Therefore, the eleven-time MEVZA League winners and this season’s CEV Challenge Cup semi-finalists are somehow the natural favourites of the Final Four tournament. “We know what we have to expect. We need an extraordinary performance to have a chance, but of course we are looking forward to this match,” AICH/DOB’s sports director Martin Micheu said.
The former competition winners signed a new head coach earlier this week, after Serbian Zvonko Nikolic surprisingly announced his departure from the team. The 40-year-old Romanian Bogdan Tanase will coach the team until the end of the season. Micheu: “Bogdan was most recently head coach in Germany, so he has the necessary experience to get our team back on track.”
OK Merkur MARIBOR ended the main phase in second place six points ahead of Mladost ZAGREB. In this season’s head-to-heads, the score is even at 1-1. On January 19, the CEV Champions League participants and last season’s MEVZA League silver medallists from Slovenia celebrated a 3-1 home win, while the Croatian team booked its Final Four ticket last Saturday with a four-set victory on home soil. Thus, it will be very interesting to see how the third match-up between these two teams this season will end.
MEVZA President Karl Hanzl: “The best MEVZA League teams will compete for this coveted trophy in Bleiburg. Due to their impressive performances so far this season, ACH Volley are the clear favourites. MEVZA is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and I am happy that not only the men’s Final Four but also the women’s Final Four in Vienna – scheduled for next week – will take place in Austria.”
In the women’s competition the regular season will come to the end with three match-ups between Friday and Sunday: HAOK Mladost ZAGREB will be hosting Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR, while SVS Post SCHWECHAT will be facing OK Marina KASTELA twice.
Men’s MEVZA League, Final Four in Bleiburg
20.02., 16:00: bronze medal match
20.02., 19:00: gold medal match
Women’s MEVZA League, regular season
18.02., 19:00: HAOK Mladost ZAGREB (CRO) vs. Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR (SLO)
19.02., 18:00: SVS Post SCHWECHAT (AUT) vs. OK Marina KASTELA (CRO)
20:02., 14:00: OK Marina KASTELA (CRO) vs. SVS Post SCHWECHAT (AUT)