ACH Volley Ljubljana expressly leapfrogged the hosts to qualify for the Grand Final

ACH Volley Ljubljana

The second semi-final match of the final Mevza League tournament in Pliberk was played between hosts SK Zadruga AICH/DOB and ACH Volley Ljubljana. With a convincing 3:0 result, the guests from Ljubljana were the better side and thus qualified for tomorrow's grand final, where they will be up against HAOK Mladost Zagreb for the 12th Mid-European championship trophy.

Pliberk - Jufa Arena, spectators: 400, referees: Juraček (Slovakia), Kramar Šandl, (Croatia).

SK Zadruga AICH/DOB : ACH Volley Ljubljana 0 : 3 (-21, -18, -22)

SK Zadruga AICH/DOB: Hruska 4, Gergely 4, Steiner (L), Ketrzynski 11, Paduretu, Marelić 2, Podlesny 2, Kitzinger, Ludegards 1, Grabmüller 4, Frances 6. Coach: Bogdan Tanase.

ACH Volley Ljubljana: Pernuš, Šket 12, Rutar 1, Mašulović 7, Todorović 2, Peruničić, Okroglič 6, Kovačič (L), Gjorgiev 13, Pokeršnik 7, Videčnik 7, Kök. Coach: Mladen Kašić.

The game started better for the visitors from Ljubljana, who took their first two-point lead after a successful attack by captain Gjorgiev, but Videčnik's fierce attack increased the advantage to three (6:9). In the Jufa hall we watched an attractive volleyball game, with nice moves on both sides. The most playful player of the Dob team was Ketrzynski, who kept in contact with the guests with effective attacking actions. The home players managed to get within a point (11:12) with a block, but made too many mistakes on the initial shots to take the lead. The visitors stepped up a gear next and took a four-point lead (16:20) on an ace by Gjorgiev. Despite a half-minute break on Dob's side, the Dragons continued their rhythm and entered the playoffs with a five-point advantage (16:21), thanks to a block by Okroglič. After two attacking errors by Šket, the SK Zadruga AICH/Dob volleyball team managed to close the gap to two points (20:22), which was followed by a timeout by the visitors' coach Kašić. Rutar, who replaced Mašulović on serve, scored the first final ball for ACH Volley Ljubljana with an ace, while Gjorgiev used his second successful attack to win the first set (21:25).

The opening of the second set was also marked by the Orange Dragons, who led 7:4 after a solo block by Šket. SK Zadruga's volleyball players tied the score on the ninth point with a successful block, this time by Gergely, but Videčnik's unlucky initial shots ensured that the Ljubljana team regained the lead (9:12). Even after the break, at the request of the home team's coach Tanase, the situation on the court did not change. After a great block by Mašulović, the Ljubljana team reached the maximum five-point advantage (10:15). Pokeršnik, who replaced Okroglič in the second set, with a block ensured a calm end of the set, in which Šket, first with an ace and then through an attack, became an unsolvable riddle for the home team. The set ended after an error by Doba's players on the opening shot (18:25).

The start of the third set was the most even, with Dobljan leading 7:6. By the middle of the set, they had built up a five-point lead (12:17), with Kök and Pernuš entering the game. The SK Zadruga volleyball players, thanks mainly to Gergely's initial shots, were only one point behind, which triggered a reaction on the bench of the guests, who, with a composed game in the end of the match, maintained their advantage and deservedly won with a score of 25:22, thus qualifying for the grand final.

ACH Volley Ljubljana coach, Mladen Kašić: "I am very satisfied with the 3:0 result against Dob. We didn't show the best performance today, but in the rhythm of the matches that follow each other it was enough to win against the home team. There was a little surprise in the first semi-final match, so tomorrow we play against Mladost. They are a young team with a very good serve and block. We will have to be committed and put pressure through the initial shots. I hope that tomorrow we will win our second trophy of the season."

ACH Volley Ljubljana player, Alen Šket: "I'm happy that we won 3:0, which is a great start for tomorrow's final. It's important to rest as well as possible. We will play against Mladost, who we have beaten twice already this year. We didn't play our best today, we still have some reserves. I hope we can fix some things tomorrow and lift the trophy in the final."  

ACH Volley Ljubljana player Nikola Gjorgiev: "We knew it would be a tough match, because Dob plays very well on home soil in front of the fans. I am extremely happy that we were in control of the match throughout. We played very mature and composed. Tomorrow we will play the grand final against Mladost from Zagreb, who are a great team with a great block. We need to rest well and tomorrow we will be looking for another trophy."