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05/03/2020 09:00
Mladost ZAGREB and ACH Volley LJUBLJANA to battle for men’s MEVZA League crown
News from the Zonal Associations

Zwettl, Austria, March 5, 2020. Mladost ZAGREB will lock horns with defending champions ACH Volley LJUBLJANA in the gold medal match of the men’s MEVZA League on Thursday evening.

In the opening match of the Final Four tournament in Zwettl, Croatia’s 18-time national champions Mladost celebrated a hard-fought 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 30-28) win against Calcit Volley KAMNIK. Mladost’s Tomislav Mitrasinovic managed to put 25 points to his name, while Boyan Yordanov top scored for the Slovenian side with 24. Mladost ZAGREB have reached the MEVZA League final for the very first time.

Radovan Malevic, head coach of Mladost ZAGREB: “We lacked concentration during the first set, but then we started to play better. At the end, we performed on a good level, but still not at our best. We are looking forward to a very interesting final. Tomorrow we can play free from any pressure, and we will see how it ends. I am sure that we will do even better than we did today.”

Stefan Kovacecic, player of Mladost ZAGREB: “Congratulations to my team, we performed well today – especially in reception in the fourth set. I think both sides delivered a good performance. We will see, what is going to happen in the final!”

Gasper Ribic, head coach of Calcit Volley KAMNIK: “We were in control during the first set. In the second, the serve made the difference. Due to some substitutions, we came back into the match, but in the decisive moments of the fourth set, we were a little unlucky. Congratulations to Mladost on making it to the final.”

ACH Volley needed five sets to overcome hosts Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL in the thrilling second semi-final later on Wednesday night. The Slovenian reigning national champions, nine-time MEVZA League winners and CEV Champions League participants edged the Austrian underdogs 3-2 (22-25, 25-11, 25-19, 21-25, 15-9). Petar Dirlic was the best scorer of the match, hammering 19 points for Ach Volley, while URW’s Lars Bornemann recorded 13.

Matija Plesko, head coach of ACH Volley LJUBLJANA: “It was a really tough match today. The hosts are much better than their position in the final standing of the regular season may suggest. They played very courageous Volleyball today. Therefore, I am satisfied with the result. Congratulations to both teams on showing a great game.”

Jure Okroglic, player of ACH Volley LJUBLJANA: “We did not play on our usual level in the beginning, but in the following sets we were more focused. In the tiebreaker, we made some good serves. We won as a team today.”

Nathan Fullerton, player of Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL: “We knew we had a big challenge ahead of us, but we delivered a really good performance today. We all showed much discipline on the court. It is obvious that losing in five sets is always hard, but we will learn from today for tomorrow.”

Zdenek Smejkal, head coach of Union Raiffeisen WALDVIERTEL: “I think, as a clear underdog we did a great job, but finally ACH Volley were a little bit better. Tomorrow we aim to give a good show to the crowd and of course we will try our best to secure the bronze medal!”

The bronze medal match is due to take place on Thursday at 6 p.m., while the 2020 edition of the men’s MEVZA League will reach its climax with the ‘big final’ starting two hours later.

For further information, visit www.mevza.org.

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