Slovenian champions offer excellent resistance in Trentino

ACH Volley Ljubljana

"In the opening match of this season's Champions League, the Slovenian champions faced the star-studded team of Trentino. After convincingly winning the first set, the Ljubljana volleyball players displayed excellent gameplay throughout the match and had a chance for a surprise until the last moment. However, in the end, the Trentino Itas players showed a bit more composure and justified their role as favorites (3:1).

Trentino – Iit Quotidiano Arena, spectators: 1000, referees: Boulanger, Stoica.

TRENTINO ITAS : ACH Volley Ljubljana 3 : 1 (15, -20, 18, 24).

Trentino Itas: D'Heer 7, Kozamernik, Michieletto 12, Sbertoli 4, Cavuto 1, Pace (L), Berger, Rychlicki 28, Magalini 14, Laurenzano (L), Lavia, Podraščanin 6, Bristot, Acquarone. Coach: Fabio Soli

ACH Volley Ljubljana: Kržič, Satler, Šket, Najdič, Marovt 3, Šen 10, Koncilja 9, Kovačič (L), Gjorgiev 18, Sešek, Pokeršnik 18, Videčnik 6. Coach: Radovan Gačič

The start of the match was dominated by the home team, who, after a series of challenging serves from the Italian setter Sbertoli, took a 5:1 lead. After a timeout requested by the Ljubljana coach Gačič, the Dragons managed to get closer, and with powerful serves from Captain Gjorgiev, they leveled the score at the sixth point. The Dragons continued to play well, but in the second half of the set, the Trentino players demonstrated why they are one of the best teams in the world. Michieletto led the home team to a nine-point lead (20:11) with a series of aces. The Trentino players did not let up, and the set concluded after Najdič made an error in the serve (25:15).

In the second set, we witnessed an excellent start from the Slovenian champions, who, after Šen's ace, led by three (6:9). Another ace from Šen meant a lead of 16:13, an error by the home team in the attack increased the lead to four, prompting the first timeout requested by Coach Soli. Outstanding attacking play brought the Ljubljana volleyball players a lead of 19:14. The Trentino players couldn't find an answer to the spirited Dragons, and Šen secured the first set point with an exceptionally precise parallel shot. Koncilja then capitalized on it with a powerful finish through the first tempo (20:25).

The third set also featured exciting volleyball, with the Slovenian representatives initially putting up a determined resistance. However, with the serves of the reigning Italian champions, Michieletto secured a six-point advantage that they didn't let slip away. The set concluded with an effective attack by Magalini (25:18).

In the fourth set, Ljubljana started excellently. Gjorgiev's outstanding attack after a superb defensive action by Najdič, followed by Pokeršnik's ace, meant a lead of 11:9. After a timeout requested by the home team's coach and strong serves from Rychlicki, the Trentino players took the lead (14:11). Too many own mistakes crept into the game of the orange dragons, which the Italian team took advantage of. In the continuation, the guests played better again, and after Koncilja's ace, they narrowed the gap to just one point (18:17). Rychlicki was excellent again on the serve and secured what seemed like an insurmountable lead for the Italian team (23:19). However, Videčnik answered equally on the other side, bringing the Dragons to a tie at the 23rd point. In the tense ending, the Trentino Itas players were slightly more composed and won with a score of 26:24.

Statement from ACH Volley Ljubljana coach Radovan Gačič: "Congratulations to the Trentino volleyball players for the victory, and also congratulations to my guys for a determined and dedicated game. Despite the defeat against the favored opponent, today's game was at the desired level. Definitely an encouragement for the future and something we need to build on."

Statement from ACH Volley Ljubljana captain Nikola Gjorgiev: "I'm very sorry that we didn't take at least one point from Trentino. Today, except for the opening set, where there was probably some tension and indecision, we played an excellent game. I am proud of my teammates, proud of today's opening performance in the Champions League, which was much better than last year against Perugia. I hope this will be an additional motivation going forward, and that we will manage to succeed against the strong Asseco Resovia team at home on Wednesday."