Cup finals spark excitement across Europe

Trophy winners emerge in Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Portugal and Slovenia

As many as nine volleyball national cup winners were crowned across Europe over the weekend, with Hungary, Iceland, Portugal and Slovenia holding their men’s and women’s finals, while the women’s trophy was at stake in Greece.



AEK Athens won the women’s Greece Cup for the first time in the club’s history. In Saturday’s final played in Arta, they dethroned last year’s winners Panathinaikos Athens after a 3-1 (25-21, 14-25, 25-20, 25-20) victory. Before the final, the two teams gathered for a joint photo, wearing pink and white t-shirts with a message against sexual and all other forms of harassment. Cuban opposite Gyselle Silva contributed the match high of 17 points, all in attack. Argentinean outside hitter Yamila Nizetich added another 15 points, including two aces and two blocks, and was eventually named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Final Four event. 18-year-old opposite Martha Anthouli also scored 15 times to emerge as Panathinaikos’ leading point maker in the final.

AEK Athens’s team roster


Penzugyor SE Budapest produced a 3-0 (27-25, 25-19, 25-21) shutout of Fino Kaposvar in the men’s Hungary Cup final on Saturday in front of 1,500 spectators in the Hungarian capital and claimed the trophy for the fourth consecutive time. Outside hitter David Csanad led his team to victory with 12 points, all in offence. His cross-court teammate Daniel Kiss made two aces and a kill block, while opposite Zoltan Kovacs impressed with four stuffs, as each of them finished with 11 points. Fino’s Cuban opposite Hermes Quevedo Hernandez delivered the match high of 15 points. Earlier on Saturday, Kecskemeti RC Kecskemet claimed the bronze after a dramatic 3-2 (29-25, 25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 15-13) win over GreenPlan-VRCK Kazincbarcika in the third place match.

Penzugyor SE Budapest’s team roster

A five-set saga decided the winner of the women’s Hungary Cup final on Sunday. Vasas Obuda Budapest picked up their second consecutive and 15th overall trophy after a nail-biting 3-2 (23-25, 25-13, 22-25, 25-19, 17-15) victory over Swietelsky-Bekescsaba. Under the deafening drumming noise coming from the 1,600 fans in the stands, American opposite Taylor Bannister hammered out 31 points, including a block, towards Vasas’ success, while Azerbaijani middle Ayshan Abdulazimova raised five kill blocks within a match tally of 14 points. Serbian opposite Marta Drpa was Bekescsaba’s most productive player with 23 points to her name. The third place match earlier in the day also offered a five-set spectacle, in which Fatum Nyiregyhaza took the bronze after a hard-fought 3-2 (20-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-15, 16-14) comeback against KNRC Kaposvar.

Vasas Obuda Budapest’s team roster


Hamar Hveragerdi celebrated their third consecutive men’s Iceland Cup trophy after a 3-1 (20-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-21) win over Vestri Isafjordur in Saturday’s final in Kopavogur. Polish outside Marcin Grasza earned the MVP award after acing five times towards the 20-point match high and handling well 83% of the opponents’ serves directed at him. Middle blocker Hafsteinn Valdimarsson impressed with five kill blocks towards a 12-point total, while Argentinean outside Franco Molina was Vestri’s top scorer with 18 points, including three aces and a block.

Hamar Hveragerdi’s team roster

 The women’s Iceland Cup final on Saturday afternoon crowned the three-day men’s and women’s Final Four event in Kopavogur, which received great attention from fans and media alike. Defending cup holders KA Akureyri mastered a 3-0 (25-15, 25-8, 25-23) shutout of hosts HK Kopavogur to collect their third trophy in the history of the competition. KA’s outside Helena Kristín Gunnarsdottir scored two of the team’s 13 aces in the final and piled up a match-high tally of 14 points to grab the MVP nomination. KA’s other outside Heid Elísabet Gunnarsdottir and HK’s 18-year-old opposite Soldís Bjort Leifsdottir Blondal finished with 10 points each.

KA Akureyri’s team roster



Sporting CP Lisbon snatched their third trophy in the history of the women’s Portugal Cup, but the first one since 1986. In Saturday’s rollercoaster final in European City of Sport 2023 Viana do Castelo, they edged AJM/FC Porto by a narrow 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-13). Sporting’s outside Barbara Gomes led the team with 18 points, including an ace, while her Porto counterpart Victoria Pinto of Brazil signed off with the match high of 28 points, including an ace and four blocks.

Sporting CP Lisbon’s team roster

The three-day men’s and women’s Final Four event in Viana do Castelo peaked with the men’s Portugal Cup final on Sunday. SL Benfica Lisbon hammered out a 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-18) sweep of Fonte do Bastardo Praia da Vitoria to defend their trophy from 2022 and triumph in the competition for a record-high 20th time in history. With three aces and three kill blocks to his name, 39-year-old Brazilian outside Raphael Oliveira tallied 15 points towards the victory. Portuguese opposite Hugo Gaspar, also 39, added another 14. Bastardo’s Venezuelan opposite Edson Gonzalez was the best scorer of the match with 17 points, including two aces and a block.

SL Benfica Lisbon’s team roster



At a sold-out competition venue in Velenje, Nova KBM Branik Maribor edged Calcit Volley Kamnik in the thrilling five-set final of the women’s Slovenia Cup on Saturday to claim their 19th trophy in the competition. Opposite Iza Mlakar and 20-year-old outside Lorena Lorber Fijok, who was named MVP of the final, pitched in 22 and 21 points, respectively, towards their team’s 3-2 (25-16, 25-20, 18-25, 20-25, 19-17) victory. Calcit’s 20-year-old Gambian opposite Fatoumatta Sillah topped the match charts with 30 points.

Nova KBM Branik Maribor’s team roster

In the fantastic atmosphere created by 1,600 fans on the stands, the memorable volleyball evening in Velenje continued with another nail-biting five-setter, in which ACH Volley Ljubljana grabbed their 14th Slovenia Cup crown in the men’s competition after a 3-2 (24-26, 25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 15-10) win over Calcit Volley Kamnik. The MVP award went to ACH’s North Macedonian opposite Nikola Gjorgiev, who led the match scorers with 26 points, including two aces and two blocks. Cuban outside Luis Tomas Sosa was Calcit’s most prolific scorer with 19 points to his name, including four blocks and two aces.

ACH Volley Ljubljana’s team roster