ACH Volley Ljubljana on home soil to 50th win of the season
The first match of the semi-finals of the Sportklub Volleyball League 1 was played between ACH Volley Ljubljana and Panvita Pomgrad at the Tivoli Sports Hall. The Ljubljana volleyball team won with a convincing 3:0 thanks to their excellent block play and thus gained a favourable position for advancing to the grand final before the return leg.
Ljubljana - Tivoli sports hall, 60 spectators, referees Perčič, Kramar.
ACH Volley Ljubljana : Panvita Pomgrad 3:0 (15, 18, 18 ).
ACH Volley Ljubljana: Pernuš 2, Šket 4, Rutar, Mašulović 8, Todorović, Peruničić 1, Okroglič, Kovačič (L), Gjorgiev 18, Videčnik 5, Kök 9. Coach: Mladen Kašić.
Panvita Pomgrad: Vinkovic 7, McConnell 12, Drvaric, Vrabl (L), Radovic 3, Rojnik 1, Lakner, Bedrac 2, Fužir 2, Novak (L), Hafner, Grabar. Coach: Dejan Fujs.
The first semi-final match was played by the guests from Murska Sobota, who led by two (2:4) after a successful attack by Vinkovič. The beginning of the match was marked by missed initial shots on both sides. After an attacking error by Bedrač, ACH Volley Ljubljana took their first lead of the match and immediately afterwards increased their advantage (11:9) with a block by Videčnik. A half-minute break at the request of Fujs was beneficial for the guests, as they managed to level the score with a block by Vinkovič. The Dragons started to pick up the pace of the game and took a three-point lead (15:12) after a layup by captain Gjorgiev. This time, a second timeout at the request of the visitors' coach did not help, as the multiple national champions quickly built up a six-point lead (18:12). The Ljubljana players completely dominated the court of the Tivoli hall and allowed the guests to score only three more points until the end of the first set, which ended after another unforced attacking error by the Panvita volleyball players (25:15).
The second set started in a similar way as the first, but this time it was the home volleyball players who were the first to gain a two-point advantage (8:6). The Orange Dragons were more and more aggressive and after a strong attack by Mašulović through the middle they led 14:9. Panvita Pomgrad volleyball players did not give up and came close to only two points behind (18:16). The Dragons stayed composed enough and won the playoffs with 25:18, thanks to an outstanding block.
In the third set, the Ljubljana players continued their excellent block play and quickly built up a four-point lead (8:4). At 14:6, coach Fujs had to take his second half-minute break, but it did not change the situation on the court. ACH Volley Ljubljana volleyball players strolled to a sure victory in the next set, and the rest of the bench players also got a chance to prove themselves and made good use of it. The match ended with another missed serve by the guests on the 18th point.
Statement of ACH Volley Ljubljana coach Mladen Kašić: "I am satisfied with ACH Volley's performance today. We were solid on the court and played well in the block. Now we have a few days without matches, which we will use to prepare for the end of the championship."
Statement of ACH Volley Ljubljana player Jani Kovacič: "We were aware of the potential danger from Panvita Pomgrad, but today we were in control and deservedly won the match. Now we have to take a break and then prepare for the return leg in Murska Sobota."