Exciting national cup results: trophies lifted in Albania, Israel Malta, Poland and Ukraine

A recap of last week’s national cup finals

• Partizani Tirana and Skenderbeu Korce claim the men’s and the women’s Albania Cup trophies

• Maccabi XT Haifa and Maccabi Yeadim Tel Aviv top the women’s and the men’s Israel Cup podiums

• Falcons Cospicua defend their women’s national cup crown in Malta

• BKS BOSTIK ZGO Bielsko-Biala triumph with first women’s Poland Cup in 15 years

• Epicentr-Podolyany Gorodok retain men’s Ukraine Cup after a five-set battle

 

Seven teams across Europe triumphed as volleyball national cup winners over the weekend. Partizani Tirana and Skenderbeu Korce celebrated in Albania, Maccabi XT Haifa and Maccabi Yeadim Tel Aviv grabbed the crowns in Israel,  the women’s teams of Falcons Cospicua and BKS BOSTIK ZGO Bielsko-Biala (pictured in the main photo; credits: Justyna Matjas / Piotr Sumara / tauronliga.pl) and the men’s team of Epicentr-Podolyany Gorodok lifted the respective trophies in Malta, Poland and Ukraine.

 

Albania

The men’s and the women’s Albania Cup finals were held at the Feti Borova hall in Tirana on Sunday. In the men’s trophy match, Partizani Tirana produced an emphatic 3-0 (25-12, 25-22, 25-22) victory over Tirana and collected their 14th trophy in the history of the competition. 28-year-old Brazilian outside hitter Muryllo Coutinho led the winners with 14 points, while Tirana’s 30-year-old opposite Ledion Martiro delivered the match high of 16 points.

Partizani Tirana’s team roster

May be an image of 4 people and text

In the women’s final that followed, Skenderbeu Korce claimed a 3-1 (25-21, 27-25, 18-25, 25-23) win over Tirana to lift the Albania Cup trophy for the second consecutive and ninth overall time. 20-year-old Venezuelan outside hitter Mariangel Vivas was Skenderbeu’s best scorer with 22 points, while Tirana’s 23-year-old opposite from the USA, Kamani Conteh, topped that with 23 points during the final. The President of the Federata Shqiptare e Volejbollit, the Albanian Volleyball Federation, Erlind Pellumbi handed the trophies to the winners at the awards ceremony that followed.

Skenderbeu Korce’s team roster

May be an image of 6 people, crowd and text that says "KMK 13 KM TIRAN 17Mars 17 Mars"

Israel

The Israel Cup finals for women and for men were also held on Sunday at the same venue, the Enerbox hall in Hadera, in front of over a thousand spectators on the stands. First, Maccabi XT Haifa emerged victorious from a five-set battle with Maccabi Ashdod for the women’s trophy, claiming it for the fourth time in history. 29-year-old middle blocker from the USA, Briana Holman, led the squad from Haifa to a 3-2 (25-16, 16-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-9) win with 23 points, including five kill blocks and three aces. On the other side of the net, 20-year-old Russian opposite Maria Protskikh topped the match charts with 25 points. Israel Volleyball Association President Rina Dor and Olympic Committee of Israel President Yael Arad headlined the awarding ceremony. The semifinals were also played at the Enerbox three days earlier, with Maccabi XT Haifa cruising to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-13) victory over Hapoel Kfar Saba, and Maccabi Ashdod delivering a 3-1 (25-20, 25-9, 19-25, 25-19) win over Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Ata.

Maccabi XT Haifa’s team roster

Defending cup-holders Maccabi Yeadim Tel Aviv triumphed in the men’s competition for the 10th time after a 3-1 (25-17, 25-22, 21-25, 25-21) win over Hapoel Galil Mate-Asher Akko Shomrat. 36-year-old opposite from Venezuela Edson Valencia contributed 24 points to his team’s success to emerge as the best scorer of the match. In Friday’s semifinals, Maccabi mastered a 3-0 (25-15, 25-8, 25-16) sweep of their encounter with Hapoel SVA Rehovot, while Hapoel Galil Mate-Asher Akko celebrated a 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-17) win over Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Ata.

Maccabi Yeadim Tel Aviv’s team roster

Malta

Falcons Cospicua triumphed as women’s Malta Cup winners for the second consecutive time after sweeping both legs of the final series in straight sets. In the first match against Paola Executive Security, played on 10 March, Falcons cruised to a 3-0 (25-17, 25-11, 25-18) victory and followed with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-11, 25-18) win in the second match, six days later.

Falcons Cospicua’s team roster

Poland

BKS BOSTIK ZGO Bielsko-Biala lifted the women’s Poland Cup for the eighth time in history and for the first time in 15 years, after a five-set duel with LKS Commercecon Lodz. The final was played in front of around 2,400 fans at the sports hall in Nysa on Sunday. LKS’s 31-year-old opposite from Italy, Valentina Diouf, was the best scorer of the match with 28 points, while her 26-year-old counterpart from Estonia, Kertu Laak, scored 27 times to lead BKS to a tight 3-2 (20-25, 26-24, 25-23, 22-25, 15-12) victory. The winners’ 25-year-old setter Julia Nowicka was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament. In Saturday’s semifinals in Nysa, BKS mastered a 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-12) win over UNI Opole, while LKS suffered through another five-setter to produce a thrilling 3-2 (15-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22, 17-15) comeback against PGE RYSICE Rzeszow.

BKS BOSTIK ZGO Bielsko-Biala’s team roster

Ukraine

The men’s Ukraine Cup tournament was held at the PVLU Arena in Hodyliv as a three-day event, featuring the quarterfinals, the semifinals and the medal matches. In Sunday’s final, Epicentr-Podolyany Gorodok snatched a hard-fought 3-2 (25-22, 24-26, 25-23, 17-25, 15-13) victory over Prometey Dnipro, with a 26-point match high from 20-year-old outside from Cameroon, Yaoussia Kavogo, and defended their historic trophy from last year. Zhytychi-Polissya Zhytomir took the bronze after a 3-1 (24-26, 25-15, 25-18, 25-19) win over Yurydychna Akademiya Kharkiv in the third-place match. Kavogo was named tournament MVP. Individual awards also went to Best Setter Vitaliy Shchytkov (Prometey), Best Opposite Vitalii Sukhinin (Yurydychna akademiya), Best Outside Hitter Ian Iereshchenko (Prometey), Best Middle Blocker Mykola Rudnytskyi (Zhytychi-Polissya) and Best Libero Andrii Zhukov (Epicentr-Podolyany).

Epicentr-Podolyany Gorodok’s team roster