After the clear 0:3 defeat away, the Innviertler are hoping for a big surprise at home. The team that wins three games first advances to the final. “The first game was hard-fought, especially in the first set, then the Tyroleans, who have an enormously high quality, played in a frenzy,” says UVC-Ried chairman Roman Lutz.
He does not rule out a sensation in front of his own fans. “We’re also very clear outsiders at home, so we don’t need to kid ourselves. But if Hypo Tirol isn’t having the best day and we’re surpassing ourselves, then something is certainly possible. What’s important is the pressure on your own serve, a very good coordination and a lot of stability in our own game,” says Lutz, who relies on the home advantage factor: “We’re a force at home, 700 fans supported us in the quarter-finals against Amstetten. Maybe we can manage a sold-out arena against Tirol.” The capacity of the Volleydome at the exhibition center is slightly more than 1000 spectators.
In terms of personnel, coach Dominik Kefer can draw on plenty tonight. A final against the Tyroleans, who have won 20 of 21 games of the season so far, would be a huge sensation.
Irrespective of this, the people at Rieder are very satisfied with the course of the season. “The fact that we made it to the semi-finals is surprising and nice at the same time, the level of the league is much better this year than in previous years. You can see what can be achieved with well-considered management. Our success is a confirmation of this path”, says Lutz. By being among the top four teams in Austria, the Rieders have already made it into the European Cup. In autumn, international volleyball sports will be offered again in the Innviertel.
When it comes to youth work, UVC Ried will also be taking the next step in the coming school year. A volleyball focus will be offered for students in the neighboring commercial academy from autumn. “We are also often in the local elementary and secondary schools with our junior manager. These projects are gaining momentum. With the existing infrastructure, it is now much easier than it used to be,” says Lutz.
Tickets (full price: six euros, reduced: four euros, children under 14: free) for the semi-final game tonight (7 p.m.) in the Volleydome at the Rieder exhibition center are available at uvc-tickets.at or at the box office.