The Croatian powerhouse Mladost came to one step from advancing to the 3rd Round of the 2020 CEV Champions League. Mladost, the 14-time national champions, ran over Khimik from Ukraine in the 1st leg by a 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 27-25), coming back from a six-point deficit in the third set. The outside hitter Valentina Vrbanc led Mladost to a win with 18 points, while 19-year-old Božana Butigan made 6 kill blocks and 18-year-old Mika Grbavica served 5 aces. Yuliya Boyko was the only double-digit player in Khimik (13 points). The rematch is in six days.
In their Champions League debut, Partizani Tirana from Albania earned a historic, first-ever, win. They beat Bosnian titleholders ŽOK Bimal-Jedinstvo Brčko after overcoming a stage fright that was reflected in losing the opening set: 3-1 (15-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-20). Slovakian Romana Hudecová, the newcomer from Strabag VC Bilíkova Pezinok (Slovakia), highlighted for Partizani with 22 points. Her compatriot Alexandra Vajdová top-scored for Jedinstvo with 25 points, while Katarina Popović made 79% reception (29 digs, 45% excellent).
2020 CEV Women’s Volleyball Champions League – 2nd Round (1st leg):
Partizani Tirana (ALB) – ŽOK Bimal-Jedinstvo Brčko (BIH) 3-1 (15-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-20)
Mladost Zagreb (CRO) – Khimik Yuzhny (UKR) 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 27-25)
Luka Bar (MNE) – Vasas Óbuda Budapest (HUN) 0-3 (12-25, 17-25, 7-25)
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