After two successful rounds of matches in Becej and Szentes, the Danube League is back this Easter weekend and this time, the newly created women’s tournament is camped up in Kosice, Slovakia.
Situated east of the Slovak Ore Mountains, Kosice is the country’s second largest city, and home to SK Olympia Kosice – the countries best female club. The club is still in its infancy stage, having only been founded in the back end of 2016. However, since their formation, they have won three Slovakian titles (2017, 2018 and 2019) and three Slovakian Cups (2016, 2018 and 2019). Olympia Kosice took a big step forward in the 2019 season and participated in the Euro League. They repeated that feat this season.
It hasn’t all been wine and roses for the Slovakian’s this season though. They were very uncompetitive in the Euro League this season; being completely outclassed by Sabadell, Ethnikos and Ekipe Orizzonte. To compound the issues in the pool, they then suffered a huge COVID outbreak in their squad – which put many of their fixtures, including in the Danube League, in jeopardy.
However, the Slovakians, led by Szabolcs Eschwig-Hajts, are ready to show they can climb up the table in front of a home crowd. They have to play an unbelievable nine games this weekend, which is unprecedented for any group of players. The physical toll will be immense, but Kosice will hope they can win the games they should, and not drop too many points.
The reason Kosice have to play so many fixtures is firstly due to the fact they missed their games from the 2nd round in Szentes. However, both of the Croatian teams, ZAVK Mladost and VK Jadran Spilt, are unexpectedly not attending this gameweek, for which they will be punished with 5-0 defeat for each match.
Szentes are top of the league as it stands. The Hungarians finished 6th in the OB I this season and have really been solid under the stewardship of Mark Matajzs. They are the team to beat in the Danube League.
Shortly behind Szentes, Red Star Belgrade are a big force with a lot of quality. They recently made the finals of the Serbian League with a solid win over rivals Partizan. They will face VK Vojvodina in the Serbian Play-Off Finals – who trail Red Star by a single point in the Danube League.
With Romania qualifying for the European Championships in Split later this summer, their representatives WPA Bucuresti will provide stern opposition for the other teams this weekend. Great Britain will once again be sending a hybrid team of developing players and what would have been their Universiade squad, while Tas2000 will hope to score their first points of the season.
Thursday 14th April
09:30 – Great Britain vs Olympia Kosice
14:30 – Olympia Kosice vs Szentes
20:00 – Olympia Kosice vs WPA Bucuresti
Friday 15th April
10:00 – Szentes vs Red Star Belgrade
11:15 – Olympia Kosice vs VK Vojvodina
12:30 – Great Britain vs VKD Tas2000
15:30 – Red Star Belgrade vs WPA Bucuresti
16:15 – VK Vojvodina vs Szentes
18:45 – WPA Bucuresti vs Olympia Kosice
20:00 – VKD Tas2000 vs VK Vojvodina
Saturday 16th April
10:00 – VKD Tas2000 vs WPA Bucuresti
11:15 – Great Britain vs Red Star Belgrade
12:30 – VK Vojvodina vs Olympia Kosice
16:00 – WPA Bucuresti vs Szentes
17:15 – Red Star Belgrade vs Szentes
18:30 – Olympia Kosice vs Great Britain
19:45 – Szentes vs VKD Tas2000
Sunday 17th April
08:30 – Olympia Kosice vs VKD Tas2000
09:45 – Szentes vs Great Britain
11:00 – VKD Tas2000 vs Red Star Belgrade
12:15 – WPA Bucuresti vs VK Vojvodina
14:45 – Olympia Kosice vs Red Star Belgrade
Friday 10th December
ZAVK Mladost 16-8 VK Jadran (6-0, 4-2, 3-4, 3-2)
Szentes 13-4 WPA Bucuresti (3-0, 1-0, 6-1, 3-3)
VK Vojvodina 25-3 VKD Tas2000 (6-1, 6-1, 4-1, 9-0)
Great Britain 7-13 WPA Bucuresti (1-4, 2-3, 2-4, 2-2)
VK Vojvodina 11-9 Red Star Belgrade (4-3, 2-4, 3-2, 2-0)
ZAVK Mladost 7-15 Szentes (1-4, 1-3, 3-4, 2-4)
Saturday 11th December
VKD Tas2000 6-28 Great Britain (2-11, 1-5, 2-5, 1-7)
Red Star Belgrade 11-10 ZAVK Mladost (2-3, 2-4, 1-3, 6-0)
ZAVK Mladost 10-8
VK Jadran 18-3 VKD Tas2000 (4-0, 8-0, 1-1, 5-2)
Red Star Belgrade 13-12 Szentes (4-3, 3-4, 3-2, 3-3)
VK Vojvodina 21-9 Great Britain (5-2, 5-2, 6-3, 5-2)
Sunday 12th December
VK Jadran 15-12 Great Britain (3-2, 4-4, 4-1, 4-5)
VKD Tas2000 1-25 ZAVK Mladost (1-8, 0-8, 0-6, 0-3)
WPA Bucuresti 6-8 Red Star Belgrade (1-4, 1-2, 3-2, 1-1)
VK Jadran 0-5 VK Vojvodina*
*Game Abandoned after the scores were 3-3 due to violent conduct
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