ACH Volley Ljubljana confident in first final match
The first match of the final action of this year's men's volleyball season was played at the Tivoli Hall between two old friends of the volleyball courts, ACH Volley Ljubljana and Calcit Volley. As in the previous matches this season, the multiple national champions were more successful and won 3:0.
Ljubljana – sports hall Tivoli, spectators 450, referees: Melavc, Kramar (both Slovenia).
ACH Volley Ljubljana : Calcit Volley 3 : 0 (19, 21, 26)
ACH Volley Ljubljana: Pernuš, Šket 7, Rutar, Mašulović 8, Todorović, Peruničić, Okroglič, Kovačič (L), Gjorgiev 26, Pokeršnik, Videčnik 8, Kök 12. Trener: Mladen Kašić.
Calcit Volley: Kos 5, Hribar (L), Bregar 8, Purič 4, Kosmina, Gasparini 13, Klobučar 13, Siirila 5, Brulec 1, Beravs, Plot (L), Mujanović, Pavlović 2. Trener: Matija Pleško.
The opening game of the final started with the home team taking a three-point lead (6.3) on the wings of a playful Gjorgiev. Kamnik quickly answered back and after two aces by Finnish blocker Siirila, they closed the gap to six points. The Dragons regained the three-point advantage at 12:9 with excellent defensive play and efficient offense, which was followed by a timeout at the request of visiting coach Pleško. This did not stop the Ljubljana team's onslaught, which only increased the advantage further. At 17:12, the guests from Kamnik were forced to take a second timeout, but it didn't work either. Kök followed up with an ace and the Ljubljana volleyballers maintained their advantage in the final set, which Mašulović finished with a fierce attack over the first tempo (25:19).
The second set was also better started by ACH Volley Ljubljana volleyball players, who led 5:3 after a great block by Šket. The continuation of the match was quite even, but ACH Volley volleyball players were one step ahead of their opponents (17:15). Even a half-minute break by Calcit Volley did not change the situation on the court, as the Dragons, with an efficient offensive game and a solid block, marched confidently towards winning the second set (19:16). It was decided by an ace from the Orange Dragons' Serbian passer Todorović.
In a change from the first two sets, Calcit Volley opened the third one better, getting out to an 8:4 lead after a series of Gasparini's successful initial shots. A timeout at the request of home coach Kašić woke up the home players, as they caught the guests on the 13th point. Then Kamnik took the initiative again and led for a moment (13:15), but the Dragons tied the score (15:15) after two points by the outstanding Gjorgiev. Calcit Volley volleyball players with Gasparini in the lead took the next few minutes and with his strong serves he put the visitors away again (16:18). This more than obviously energised the Kamnik players, who increased the advantage to three points (17:20), while Brulec's ace in the endgame brought the guests even closer to success in the third set (20:23). ACH Volley volleyball players showed their character once more, defending three final balls from the Kamnik team and staging a turnaround, which was crowned by an ace from Kök.
Statement of ACH Volley Ljubljana coach Mladen Kašić: "I am extremely satisfied with the performance. I am very pleased with the way the boys played, with the exception of the third set they were mostly in control. Now it's time to put this match behind us and prepare for the second match, where we expect more resistance from Kamnik."
ACH Volley Ljubljana player Alena Šket: "We prepared very well for our opponent and played very well in the first two sets. Then in the third set we ran out of steam, but once again we showed more of the character that characterises this team and after the turnaround we deservedly triumphed."