Ljubljana, Slovenia, March 20, 2017. Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR and Calcit KAMNIK are the winners of the 26th edition of the Slovenian national cup for women and men, respectively.
Three out of four semi-final matches ended in a 3-0 victory for the pre-favourites, only Calcit KAMNIK dropped a set against hosts OK Triglav KRANJ. However, there was not a single team ready to wave a white flag and the spectators in a crowded sports hall Planina in Kranj witnessed very exciting matches, especially since both finals ended with a tiebreak.
In a thrilling women’s final match, Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR prevailed against Calcit LJUBLJANA (25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 27-29, 15-7), taking their third consecutive title – and sixteenth overall.
“I think both teams played really well today, showing a great performance. However, towards the end of the match, we were probably more focussed and we played on a higher level in the deciding tiebreaker. We really wanted this trophy and I feel like we deserved it,” Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR opposite hitter Iza Mlakar, who scored 35 points in the final match, said.
A day later, after the All Stars 40+ match in which former Slovenian national team members, divided in two teams, East and West, competed against each other for the first time, reigning Slovenian champions ACH Volley LJUBLJANA and 2016 Slovenian Cup winners Calcit KAMNIK clashed for the fifth time this season.
Calcit KAMNIK were already 0-2 down, but then made an epic comeback, beating ACH Volley by 18-25, 18-25, 25-17, 25-18, 15-13, thus retaining the trophy they had won last year. “I don’t know what to say. We left our hearts on the court today, we gave it all and I think we really deserved to win this match. Although we were two sets down, we fought and never stopped believing in ourselves,” an emotional Calcit KAMNIK team captain Andrej Štembergar Zupan commented after the win.
Calcit LJUBLJANA vs. Formula Formis 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-19)
Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR vs. VOLLEYBALLjubljana 3-0 (25-18, 28-26, 25-9)
Nova KBM Branik MARIBOR vs. Calcit LJUBLJANA 3-2 (25-21, 21-25, 25-23, 27-29, 15-7)
ACH Volley LJUBLJANA vs. OK KRKA 3-0 (25-18, 29-27, 25-20)
Calcit KAMNIK vs. OK Triglav KRANJ 3-1 (25-27, 25-17, 25-18, 25-20)
Calcit KAMNIK vs. ACH Volley LJUBLJANA 3-2 (18-25, 18-25, 25-17, 25-18, 15-13)