ACH Volley Ljubljana sovereign over SK Zadruga AICH/DOB
The 18th round of the MEVZA Central European League (CEVZA) concluded in Pliberk between SK Zadruga AICH/DOB and ACH Volley Ljubljana. In a match that was not decided by the result, the guests from Ljubljana were the better team for the second time in the season with a 3:0 win.
Pliberk - Jufa Arena, spectators: 100, referees: Kramar Šandl, Jurković (both Croatia).
SK Zadruga AICH/DOB : ACH Volley Ljubljana 0 : 3 (-20, -17, -20)
ACH Volley Ljubljana: Pernuš, Šket 19, Rutar 8, Mašulović, Todorović, Peruničić, Okroglič 9, Kovačič (L), Gjorgiev, Pokeršnik (L), Videčnik 9, Kök 12. Coach: Mladen Kašić.
SK Zadruga AICH/DOB: Rainer, Hruska 4, Gergely 1, Steiner (L), Ketrzynski 9, Miranda De Alcantara 3, Paduretu 2, Pusnik, Marelić 9, Krassnig, Podlesny 2, Grabmüller 2, Frances. Coach: Martin Micheu.
ACH Volley Ljubljana started the match with a changed line-up, with Rutar replacing Mašulović at the blocker position, Kök-Okroglič forming the receiver pair, and Šket at the outside hitter, replacing Gjorgiev, who was given a rest by coach Kašić.
The home team started the match better and led 3:1, but Šket scored an ace to tie the match. The Ljubljana team made three consecutive errors on the opening shot, which SK Zadruga volleyball players took advantage of and escaped to three points (8:5). The guests were able to tie the score at 10, thanks to the young Rutar, who first made a successful block, and then an attack and an ace. After a successful attack and then a block by Okroglič, the Ljubljana team took a three-point lead (11:14). The home players continued to play much better, especially in the block department, and managed to tie the score at 16. At 20:20, the excellent Rutar came to the service and with an outstanding series he decided the set in favour of the guests (20:25).
The start of the second set went according to the notes of ACH Volley Ljubljana, who, after an error by the home team, led by three points (2:5). Successful attacks by Kök and Videčnik gave the Ljubljana team a five-point lead (3:8). This triggered a reaction on the home team's bench and a half-minute break at the request of coach Micheu. This did not change the course of events on the floor, as the Orange Dragons continued their fierce pace and only increased their lead (5:12). The visitors were especially more efficient in their offensive actions, while Marelić made sure that the home team's advantage was not even higher with some successful attacks. A successful attack by Šket and an ace by Kök gave the Dragons an unassailable seven-point lead (13:20) going into the playoffs. Videčnik's forecheck provided the first final ball, and an attack error by the home players ended the set on 17 points.
At the beginning of the third set, Doba volleyball players took the initiative and led 8:3 after a successful deception by Paduretu, an attacking error by Kök and then an ace by Kertzynski. Coach Kašić reacted to this and woke up the ACH Volley Ljubljana volleyball players with a half-minute break, and they reduced the deficit to two points (8:6) on a series of Videčnik's initial shots (8:6). The Dob players managed to maintain a minimal advantage until the 12th point, when Rutar tied the score with another ace. The unstoppable Šket continued to trouble the home team with his successful attacks and after a service error they were two points behind (13:15). Okroglic's ace led to another timeout at the request of the home bench, but it did not change the situation on the court. The Ljubljana players were also better in the end of the match and got the first final ball after a great block by the duo Šket-Videčnik. Videčnik took advantage of it with a fierce attack for the 39th consecutive victory of ACH Volley Ljubljana this season.
Statement of ACH Volley Ljubljana coach Mladen Kašić: "It was a difficult away game, as we are in the middle of an extremely busy match rhythm. Dob has a quality line-up, so I'm even more pleased that we were able to get the win relatively easily and rested some of our key players."
Statement of ACH Volley Ljubljana player Filip Rutar: "Today we showed good team play and deserved to win. The matches are one after the other, so we have to stay focused and continue our winning rhythm."