In what was a weekend of sporting spectacles, nine national cup trophies were presented across Europe

A recap of last week’s national cup finals

• Mamer and Stroossen Strassen defend national cup trophies in Luxembourg

• Strumica Zeni and Stip UGD earn their first North Macedonia Cup victories

• SL Benfica Lisbon back on women’s Portugal Cup throne after 50 years; Sporting CP Lisbon claim men’s crown

• Nova KBM Branik Maribor and Calcit Kamnik triumph in Slovenia Cup finals

• Fenerbahce Opet Istanbul top podium in women’s Türkiye Cup in front of 8,000 fans

 

Nine teams in five European countries collected national cup trophies over the weekend. Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Portugal and Slovenia crowned their winners in both genders, while Türkiye celebrated their cup laureates in the women’s competition.

LUXEMBOURG

The Centre Sportif et Culturel Atert in Bertrange hosted both the women’s and the men’s Luxembourg Cup finals on Saturday evening. The women’s showdown was held first, with Mamer claiming the trophy for the third consecutive and 14th overall time after a 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-23) sweep of their encounter with RSR Walfer Walferdange. The two semifinals were played two days earlier. Coach Ranguel Krivov’s squad, Mamer, produced another straight-set victory, 3-0 (25-20, 31-29, 25-16) over V80 Petange, while RSR Walfer Walferdange progressed to the final with a 3-1 (30-28, 25-12, 23-25, 25-18) win over GYM Volley Luxembourg.

Mamer’s team roster

In the men’s final, Stroossen Strassen delivered a 3-0 (25-22, 25-12, 25-21) win over Volleyball Eagles Echternach to pick up their second Luxembourg Cup trophy in a row and expand their collection to 15 trophies from the competition. Friday’s semifinals also produced straight-set results: 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 30-28) for Stroossen Strassen over Lorentzweiler and 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-22) for Volleyball Eagles Echternach over Escher Esch-sur-Alzette.

Stroossen Strassen’s team roster

NORTH MACEDONIA

Sunday’s North Macedonia Cup finals in both genders crowned a four-day event held at the Јordan Miјalkov hall in Shtip. Strumica Zeni mastered a 3-0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-14) sweep of the women’s final against Janta volej Skopje to triumph with a historic first national cup trophy for the club. 25-year-old outside hitter from Serbia, Duska Zdjelar led the team with a 15-point match high. In Friday’s semifinals, Strumica Zeni persevered through a five-set saga against Rabotnicki Skopje to achieve a 3-2 (24-26, 24-26, 25-22, 25-17, 15-13) comeback from two sets down, while Janta volej Skopje produced a 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 25-20, 25-16) win over Nakovski volej Strumica.

Event hosts Shtip UGD also lifted the North Macedonia Cup trophy for the first time. In the men’s final, they battled it out for a 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21, 15-13) victory over Strumica 47&72. 20-year-old outside from Iran, Mahdi Zadmard, led the winners with 26 points, while Strumica 47&72’s opposite from Tunisia Saad Omheni topped the scorers’ charts with 28. Straight-set results marked Thursday’s semifinals. Shtip UGD achieved a 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-18) win over Rabotnicki 71&22 Skopje, while Strumica 47&72 mastered a 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-16) sweep of their match against Lirija Zerovjane.

PORTUGAL

A three-day event from Friday to Sunday at the Centro Cultural in Viana do Castelo crowned the women’s and the men’s Portugal Cup winners for 2024. The women’s trophy match was played on Saturday evening. After a five-set spectacle, SL Benfica Lisbon celebrated a 3-2 (25-22, 25-18, 21-25, 13-25, 15-12) victory over PV2014/Colegio Efanor Porto and collected their third national cup trophy in history, their first in 50 years. Two days before her 26th birthday, middle blocker from Canada Avery Heppell led Benfica to success with 21 points, while PV2014’s 35-year-old outside Bruna Gianlorenco was the best scorer of the match with 25. In Friday’s semifinals, Benfica achieved a 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 21-25, 25-18) win over Vitória de Guimarães, and PV2014 mastered a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-23) sweep of their match against Sporting CP Lisbon.

SL Benfica Lisbon’s team roster

A captivating five-set final decided the men’s Portugal Cup winners on Sunday too. Sporting CP Lisbon grabbed the trophy for the fifth time in history after a thrilling 3-2 (25-16, 20-25, 25-22, 20-25, 22-20) victory over Fonte do Bastardo Praia da Vitoria. Sporting CP’s 30-year-old opposite from Brazil, Wagner Pereira da Silva contributed a match-high 26 points towards his team’s success. In the first of two men’s semifinals on Saturday, Sporting CP delivered a 3-1 (25-21, 20-25, 25-20, 25-20) win over SL Benfica Lisbon. Then, Fonte do Bastardo managed a hard-fought 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 25-22, 32-34, 15-11) victory over Leixoes Matosinhos.

Sporting CP Lisbon’s team roster

SLOVENIA

The women’s and the men’s Slovenia Cup finals were held at the same venue, the Arena Bonifika in Koper, on Sunday. The women’s trophy match offered a five-set battle, with Nova KBM Branik Maribor celebrating a 3-2 (25-27, 13-25, 25-21, 28-26, 15-7) win over Calcit Kamnik and their 20th trophy in the history of the competition. 28-year-old opposite Iza Mlakar led her team to success with a match-high 29 points, including three aces and four kill blocks, and earned the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

Nova KBM Branik Maribor’s team roster

Calcit Kamnik picked up the trophy in the men’s competition. Just a week after they triumphed as MEVZA League zonal champions, they collected their fifth Slovenia Cup crown. In the final, they mastered a 3-0 (27-25, 28-26, 25-21) victory over i-Vent Maribor, with 24-year-old outside Lazaro Yoelvis Brunet Llanes claiming a 27-point match high over three sets of play, including two aces and three kill blocks. The MVP honours went to Calcit Kamnik’s libero Alan Kosenina.

Calcit Kamnik’s team roster

TÜRKIYE

The Ankara Spor Salonu in the Turkish capital welcomed the women’s Türkiye Cup final four over the weekend. In front of 8,000 fans in the venue in Sunday’s final (pictured in the main photo; credits: TVF), Fenerbahce Opet Istanbul claimed a 3-1 (25-23, 16-25, 25-17, 25-20) victory over Eczacibasi Dynavit Istanbul and lifted the trophy for the fourth time in history. 24-year-old opposite Melissa Vargas produced a match-high 19 points towards Fenerbahce Opet Istanbul’s win and received the MVP nomination. The Turkish Volleyball Federation President Mehmet Akif Üstündağ headlined the award ceremony after the final showdown. Fenerbahce Opet Istanbul won Saturday’s semifinal against THY Istanbul also in four sets, 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-13, 25-20), while reigning club world champions Eczacibasi Dynavit Istanbul squeezed out a 3-2 (25-18, 25-23, 22-25, 24-26, 15-12) win over VakifBank Istanbul.

Fenerbahce Opet Istanbul’s team roster