ACH Volley Ljubljana with 14th consecutive win of the season
In the 8th round of the MEVZA league, UVC Holding Graz and the undefeated ACH Volley Ljubljana competed in Graz. After a good hour of play, the Orange Dragons won convincingly, continuing their impressive run of 14 consecutive wins this season.
Graz - Raiffeisen Sportpark, spectators 100, referees Kralovič, Viktorini-Lisa.
UVC Holding GRAZ : ACH Volley Ljubljana 0 : 3 (-20, -17, -21)
UVC Holding GRAZ: Mikulass Koch, Imširović, Zehner (L), Ladner 9, Scheucher 6, Žagar, Kratz (L), Keen, Ochaya, Reiter 6, Rössl 7, Sablatnig 3, Drobnič 3, Kuhl. Trener: Robert Koch.
ACH Volley Ljubljana: Pernuš 7, Šket 9, Rutar 3, Mašulović 11, Todorović, Peruničić 4, Okroglič 15, Kovačič (L), Gjorgiev, Pokeršnik, Kök 5. Trener: Mladen Kašić
ACH Volley Ljubljana started the match with a different line-up than we have been used to in most of the matches so far. Šket started at the opposite hitter position replacing Gjorgiev, as coach Kašić gave him a rest. Pernuš got the chance to play the passer position from the start, while Okroglič-Kök were the receiving pair.
On the home side, Ladner stood out in the first set with his successful attacks and took a two-point lead (5:3). ACH Volley Ljubljana players did not let themselves be fooled and followed the Grazers, especially through the middle, and quickly caught them with an ace by Mašulović (5:5). The UVC Holding Graz team continued to play with confidence and, after unforced errors by the Orange Dragons, gained a three-point advantage (11:8). This triggered a reaction on the bench of the 11-time Central European champions and a one-minute break at the request of coach Kašić. It gave the Ljubljana volleyball players a break, and thanks to two aces and a successfully completed attack by the awakened Šket, they took the lead (12:15). The Orange Dragons kept up the pace of the game and increased the advantage with a solid block (12:17). After a successful Okroglič attack, the Raiffeisen Sportpark scoreboard showed a big eight-point advantage for the guests from Ljubljana (14:22). UVC Holding Graz volleyball players managed to reduce the deficit a bit, but they did not seriously threaten the lead of the Ljubljana team. The set ended with a fierce offensive finish by Rutar on the 20th point in favour of ACH Volley Ljubljana.
In the second set, the Orange Dragons dictated the rhythm of the game from the very beginning, but after another successful series of initial shots by Skete, they gained a more significant advantage, leading 15:11. The home coach Koch reacted to this, breaking Skete's serve, but not the Ljubljana volleyball players' attack, who continued to dominate the block and quickly escaped to an unassailable eight-point advantage (12:20). The set ended with a successful attack by Okroglic with the score 17:25.
The 2:0 lead in the set did not lull the Orange Dragons, who, as if they were in a hurry to get back to Ljubljana, stepped on the gas and made it clear from the very beginning of the set what the epilogue of today's match would be. The advantage only grew further and there were no doubts about the winner (4:7, 5:10). Even though the Graz players woke up a bit and reduced the deficit to three points (16:19), the Ljubljana players had an answer immediately afterwards and led by six (16:22) after an ace by Okroglic, the most efficient player of the match today (15 points in total). It was the 24-year-old Okroglič who scored his 25th point with a successful offensive rebound to give the Orange Dragons another victory.
Statement of ACH Volley Ljubljana coach Mladen Kašić: "Despite the fact that we were considered the clear favourites in today's game, I am very satisfied with the approach of my players. I am very pleased with the way they played, they did not allow the opponent to threaten us at any time and I am happy about that."