OK HERCEG NOVI stormed to a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Galeb Liko Soho Group in the third match of the Montenegrin women’s national league championship series and, after three matches, they celebrated their first national championship title in history. With this dominant victory and without losing any set throughout the whole season, OK HERCEG NOVI completed a phenomenal campaign. Even though there was a somewhat balanced game in the third match of the final series of the EPCG Super League, the defending champions Galeb Liko Soho Group could not win even a consolation set. At the end, it was 3-0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-19) for OK HERCEG NOVI, who claimed the double crown after winning the Montenegrin Cup in early April.
“Congratulations to my team for a brilliant season, both in terms of the championship and the national cup. When we were putting the team together, we did not intend or expect to be so dominant. We expected a little more resistance from other teams, especially from those based in Bar. I think that with our approach, professionalism, and by creating a powerful, respectable team, we pushed others to step up and improve. My great wish for the next season is for the semi-finals and finals of the Montenegrin league to be more open, which would mean that other teams will try to get closer to our level, and that young players will grow alongside older aces. This way, we will try to bring Volleyball in Montenegro closer to the top of Europe, with small but valuable and significant steps,” said Milorad Krunić, coach of OK HERCEG NOVI.
“I congratulate the Herceg Novi’s team on a well-deserved double crown. They played exceptionally well and dominated throughout the season, and in the end, they deservedly won both trophies. It is regrettable that we were not complete to give our maximum, but that is sport. I also congratulate my girls on what they have done in the finals,” said Petar Koković, coach of Galeb Liko Soho Group.
The first set of the third match suggested that Galeb was not willing to give up the title easily. The guests provided the best resistance in the final series in the opening set, took the lead several times, and were equal until the very end of the set when Milorad Krunić’s team stepped up and took the lead 1-0 with a score of 25-22.
In a similar rhythm, OK HERCEG NOVI continued, and they convincingly opened the second set, quickly reaching a double-digit lead and taking a 2-0 lead after reducing their opponents to only 13 points. In the last set, Galeb again put up a solid resistance, leading several times and even had a tangible advantage of 8-5. Still, the hosts won several points in a row and found solutions to their problems. After OK HERCEG NOVI scored four unanswered points, there was a turnaround (9-8), then after a break, the eventual winners had a significant lead, 13-9, which Galeb managed to catch up with briefly, but it was obvious that Galeb could not stop the relentless attacks of their opponents. At the end of the set, by the score of 25-19, there was a big celebration for Tatjana Bokan and her teammates.
The former captain of the Montenegrin national team, Tatjana Bokan, who was the leader of OK HERCEG NOVI this season, was the most efficient player, as in every match of the final series. She collected 19 points, and Diana Balai was also in double figures with 11.
“I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate my team, the girls, coaching staff, club management, everyone, because this was total domination! We have proven this throughout the season and achieved great success. I can freely say it is a historic success. Nobody has managed to finish both the regular season and the Cup and playoffs without losing a single set. We are waiting for someone to equalise our result, but nobody can surpass us now. What can I say? Double crown! I’m very happy!”
Natalija Vlaović was the most effective player of Petar Koković’s team, with nine points, while Charlotte Richards stopped at eight.
“The Herceg Novi team showed that they were rightfully the favourites with a 3-0 win in the final game. We tried to fight to the end with their quality and experienced team. I hope we showed some aspects of that, we could have done better, but their quality made the difference and this final match had to end like this,” concluded the captain of Galeb Liko Soho Group, Teodora Čavić.
OK HERCEG NOVI is the fourth champion in the history of the EPCG Super League since the restoration of Montenegrin independence, after record holders Luka Bar and the teams Galeb Liko Soho Group and Budućnost.