ACH Volley Ljubljana to another victory

ACH Volley Ljubljana

In the 5th round of the blue group of the Sportklub Slovenian Volleyball League, we witnessed a clash of old rivals in the Tivoli Sports Hall between the home team ACH Volley Ljubljana and Maribor. The Slovenian champions returned to the winning track in front of their home crowd and secured another league victory with a score of 3:2.

Ljubljana – Tivoli Sports Hall, spectators: 120, referees: Franci Kramar, Iso Adrovič.

ACH Volley Ljubljana: Marković 1, Kržič, Šket 6, Najdič 1, Marovt, Šen 5, Koncilja 10, Kovačič (L), Gjorgiev 29, Sešek 1, Pokeršnik 23, Videčnik 6, Song (L). Coach: Radovan Gačič

Maribor: Fužir (L), Vodušek, Pernuš 2, Adžović, McConnel 22, Valenčič, Bračko 15, Kumer (L), Kržič 9, Donik 11, Fink 10, Novak. Coach: Sebastijan Škorc.

The duel began favorably for Ljubljana, with a series of powerful serves by Šket and Koncilja leading them to a 7:3 advantage. With Pokeršnik's effective attacks and robust defensive play, the orange dragons maintained their lead (11:6). Particularly, Pokeršnik and Šket continued to impress in their attacking actions. The latter increased the lead to 19:14 with a powerful diagonal strike, prompting a reaction from Maribor's coach Škorc, who called for a timeout. This did not halt the momentum of the Ljubljana volleyball players, who were markedly superior throughout and comfortably secured the opening set. Pokeršnik concluded the set with an exceptional attack (25:19).

In the second set, Maribor took the initial initiative, leading 5:3 after McConnell's effective attack. The Slovenian champions caught up at the eleventh point but faced an immediate response as Maribor regained a two-point lead (11:13). Following a reaction from Gačič and a half-minute break, Maribor's volleyball players maintained their advantage, establishing a six-point lead towards the end of the second set (15:21), which they ultimately won.

In the third set, Maribor continued their spirited play, taking a 7:5 lead. ACH Volley turned the tide (10:9), with Gjorgiev delivering successful attacks. The dragons did not relinquish the lead, showcasing solid performance in block-defense and taking a 2:1 lead in sets. Captain Gjorgiev concluded the set with an ace (25:21).

Similar to the third set, the fourth set witnessed an evenly matched duel, with Maribor maintaining a slight advantage until the mid-set. Gjorgiev and Pokeršnik kept pace with the opponents, and Videčnik found his form. After equalizing at the 14th point, the Slovenian champions stepped up their game and gained a two-point advantage towards the end of the set (19:17). Few anticipated that Maribor would stage a comeback with the score at 23:20 and 24:22 in favor of the home team. However, Maribor managed a 4:0 run, leveling the set score at 2:2.

In the decisive fifth set, ACH Volley started more decisively, taking a 3:1 lead. After changing sides, the scoreboard showed 8:5, and the Slovenian champions maintained their lead, securing another league victory.

Statement from ACH Volley Ljubljana coach Radovan Gačič: "After a good start and a convincing win in the opening set, we let go and allowed the opponent to gain momentum. Both teams applied good pressure with their serves. In the fourth set, we definitely shouldn't have wasted two set points and allowed a turnaround. In the end, we gathered ourselves to the extent that we managed to win the match."