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13/03/2014 09:00
ACH Volley LJUBLJANA claims sixth crown in MEVZA League
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Bleiburg, Austria, March 13, 2014. Slovenia’s multiple champions ACH Volley LJUBLJANA claimed on Wednesday the 2014 edition of the Middle European League after edging past hosts Posojilnica AICH/DOB of Austria in the final match held at the Jufa Arena in Bleiburg (3:0; 25-22, 25-17, and 25-15). This is the sixth title for the team from Slovenia’s capital city in the professional league organised by the Middle European Volleyball Zonal Association (MEVZA).
The final match of this year’s Middle European League featured two teams that had previously competed in the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League. Even though Austria’s champions had showed a series of excellent performances this season, they did not live up to the expectations of their fans and missed out on their first title in the competition. After seeing off Slovakia’s Chemes HUMENNE in the semis played on Tuesday, Posojilnica did never find their way into the game; after a relatively close first set, ACH Volley imposed their rule and brought the final to an end after only 82 minutes.

“Our performance was poor and we did never pressure our opponents,” said middle-blocker Peter Wohlfahrtstätter after the game. “We all made mistakes and therefore our mood got worse and worse during the match. I just can’t explain how we could perform so badly tonight but there is no excuse for this. It is always pretty bitter when you lose this way.”

“We had speculated we could win the title and now we are very disappointed,” added Posojilnica head coach Martin Micheu. “Unfortunately after our campaign in the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League came to a close, we somehow lost the right chemistry in the group.”

Though the home side lost the final in straight sets, it was Posojilnica’s Valdir Sequeira who top scored in the game with 16 points while Jan Pokersnik and Matija Plesko paced ACH Volley with 14 and 13 respectively.

Slovakia’s Chemes HUMENNE settled for the bronze medal after edging Austria’s VCA Hypo AMSTETTEN in straight sets in the consolation final (25-18, 25-17, and 25-22). Though they played better than in the semi-final where they had lost to ACH Volley in straight sets, the Austrians could not stabilize their reception and made a way too many mistakes also in attack in order to stand a chance to finish their campaign with a medal. The third set was pretty close with the teams exchanging the lead a few times but in the end Chemes HUMENNE brought it home in straight sets.
“We put on a good fight,” said VCA Hypo AMSTETTEN head coach Martin Kop. “Our opponents played better than we did in some crucial moments but if my players show their best as they did tonight, there is nothing that I can be disappointed with.”
Jamion Merrick Hartley top scored for AMSTETTEN with 18 points while Mikolaj Sarnecki and Milan Javorcik registered 17 and 16 respectively for Chemes HUMENNE. Jakub Joscak also finished the game in double digits with 11.

Final standing

1.    ACH Volley LJUBLJANA (SLO)
2.    Posojilnica AICH/DOB (AUT)
3.    Chemes HUMENNE (SVK)
4.    VCA Hypo AMSTETTEN (AUT)
5.    Fino KAPOSVAR (HUN)
6.    Gorter KECSKEMETI (HUN)
7.    Volley Team BRATISLAVA (SVK)

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