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02/04/2018 10:26
Sakolchyk dreams of more victories as Minchanka make history for Belarus
2018 CEV Volleyball Cup - Women

Minsk, Belarus, April 2, 2018. Katsiaryna Sakolchyk has been one of the key players for Minchanka MINSK as the team recently claimed their fifth title in the Belarusian national league and reached the final stage of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Cup – a truly unprecedented feat in Belarusian Volleyball history. Let’s learn something more about this talented player before Minchanka take on Turkey’s powerhouse Eczacibasi VitrA ISTANBUL in the #CEVCupW finals, starting with a home match on Tuesday night!  

“I was born in Grodno and I discovered Volleyball while attending the third grade at school. After a physical education class, a woman came to me with a small piece of paper addressed to my parents with some useful contacts and the script ‘Very good girl, bring her there!’ The following weekend my mother and aunt took me to that place. Many girls were practicing there and there I saw again that same woman who had spotted me at school. She was the Volleyball coach of the local sports school, and her name was Nina Viktorovna Kovalevskaya,” Sakolchyk recalls. “Initially I just wanted to watch what the other girls were doing, but the coach told me that when you train, you do not have to watch – but you rather have to practice! So, I took a ball and it did not slip away from my hands until today.”

Sakolchyk somehow immediately realised that Volleyball was going to play a leading role in her life. “Volleyball is not just a job; it is some kind of a lifestyle. It was in Grodno where I joined my first professional team – at the local Neman State University.  I initially was one of their substitutes but it took me less than one year to get a spot in their starting six. Back in the 2012-2013 season, we won the Belarusian national league and that was my first major title. It was very important to me that we could call ourselves the best women’s Volleyball team in Belarus – and for me it also meant that my decision to play Volleyball was the right one.”

Her family has always been supportive towards Katsiaryna: “They never said one word against the sport, especially as they realised how much I liked it! However, they made it clear from the very beginning that sport should not have gone at the expense of my studies. They have always supported me. I moved to Minchanka in 2014 and made this decision without any hesitation. I knew I was moving to one of the best clubs across our country. I moved to Minsk only after completing my studies – and at the weekend, I could still visit my family since I missed them very much. I slowly settled in Minsk, helped by the other players on the team, visiting the city, going to a café or to the countryside in my free time. I met my future husband in Minsk and we got married shortly afterwards. As a result, I can say that Minsk feels like a second home to me.”

Minchanka have had a truly successful season this far. “We started by playing Rocheville LE CANNET in the second round of the Champions League and since this is one of the leading teams from the French league, we prepared very thoroughly – tactically, psychologically and physically. Our hard work paid off since we won twice and moved on to the next round. I think that we improved in many ways throughout the season and the results we have achieved in the national league and CEV Cup reflect this positive trend. Therefore, our results do not surprise me much. At the beginning of the season, I probably would not have thought we could have gone this far – but we have built a strong team throughout the season and this has boosted our self-confidence. We are a good team – and therefore the results do not surprise me much,” Sakolchyk said.

Many believe that head coach Viktar Hancharou is the man behind the success of Minchanka. “In order to achieve good results in sports, you need to work on yourself every day! The team should consist of people sharing the same mind-set, including the coaching staff! If you share the same goal, work on yourself and believe in yourself and your team, you can achieve great results. Of course, in order to develop this team spirit, the coach plays a key role. The coach should be a professional one and an excellent psychologist, especially when working with a women's team! I think we have a great combination of coaches and players this season,” Sakolchyk said.

How does Katya’s life off the court look like? “Volleyball obviously has become a big part of my life and I spend most of my time with it. My husband and I almost never see each other, even though we live together, so what to say about parents and relatives.... In my spare time, my husband and I try to spend some time together! My mother comes to Minsk for the games, and some other relatives are waiting for my next vacation to see me! I have a dog – an American Staffordshire terrier breed named Bailey (she is a female)! She is a fully-fledged member of our family.”

Minchanka has exceeded all expectations by making it to the final stage of the CEV Cup. Is there anything Katsiaryna dreams about? “As far as Volleyball is concerned, I obviously dream of more victories. Off the court, I want to become a mother!”

News nr. 5 of 57
02/04/2018 17:28:00
Minchanka MINSK ready to take on Turkish powerhouse in #CEVCupW Finals
20/03/2018 18:13:00
Eczacıbaşı VitrA ISTANBUL first to reach #CEVCupW Final, Minchanka MINSK confirmed as finalist after Golden Set

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