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21/06/2019 13:00
Andrea Kossanyiova hopes to repeat 2012 #EuroLeagueW success with Czech Republic
CEV Volleyball European Golden League 2019

Varaždin, Croatia, June 21, 2019. Czech Republic are set to compete in the Final Four of the CEV European Golden League alongside Belarus, Spain and the hosting team Croatia. The Czech team is the only finalist who has been playing in the Final Four before, claiming bronze medal in the 2018 edition and taking gold at home court in Karlovy Vary in 2012. Only two players from the current squad, Andrea Kossanyiova and Pavla Smidova, were part of the golden team from 2012. Now as one of the most experienced players in the squad, Kossanyiova is looking forward to trying and fighting for the #EuroLeagueW title again. 

Outside-spiker Andrea Kossanyiova and setter Pavla Smidova were only 19 and 20 years old when the Czech team celebrated their first and only CEV European League title to date. Even then, Kossanyiova was among the best scorers of the entire competition and second best in her team with 138 points. In the current edition of the CEV European Golden League, Kossanyiova is the leading scorer of her team and only one of two players in the entire League Round to have surpassed the 100 points jackpot. 

Putting personal achievements aside, Andrea is set to focus on Czech Republic and their journey in the competition. Playing the Final Four for the second consecutive year, Czech Republic want to improve the result from the 2018 edition. 
“This is our second year in a row in the Final Four of the European Golden League. This time we are facing a really strong team of Belarus in the semis, but we are convinced we can beat them,” says Andrea with confidence. “We definitely came to Croatia for a medal.”

Captain Pavla Smidova, Andrea Kossanyiova and Czech Republic celebrate a victory during the 2019 #EuroLeagueW League Round.

Belarus is the only finalist in Varaždin to have won all of their matches in the League Round. Czech Republic experienced the most competitive rivalry in their own pool, having registered four victories and two losses just like the two other teams, Ukraine and Slovakia. Their own qualification wa
s sealed by a difference of one point - Czech Republic finished Pool A with 13 points, the pool runner-up Ukraine had 12 after losing in a 3-1 match against third-placed Slovakia. That experience helped the team grow, according to their coach Ioannis Athanasopoulos.

“The rivalry in our pool was very close and when you are in such difficult situations, then as a team you have to overcome this. This was a great experience for us to go through and become a better team ahead of the Final Four,” he said.

Kossanyiova agrees with that: “Our pool was really hard to play in, but we can see the benefit of playing so many tough matches. We had some luck and were grateful for Slovakia’s final victory in the League Round.”

Coach Ioannis Athanasopoulos, who began working with Czech Republic this year, doesn’t think his team’s experience from the 2018 edition will give them an edge over the other ones. “I feel this is a different competition. It was a different venue, different opponents, different squad from our side… I don’t think the performance will have anything to do with last year's edition,” he said. 

Kossanyiova also focuses on the current competition, but she admits she has great memories from the victorious Final Four in 2012. The outside-spiker who currently plays for VK UP OLOMOUC admits it was a great opportunity for her and her team.

“Thanks to the victory in that Final Four, which we could experience in front of our home fans in Czech Republic, we had a chance to play in the FIVB World Grand Prix the following season. It was an amazing opportunity for us and helped me personally move forward,” she recalls. 

Andrea Kossanyiova during 2012 CEV European League final against Bulgaria.

Similar benefits are at stake this year too. On top of the 125,000 € prize money for the winner, the best two teams from the CEV European Golden League will travel to Peru to compete in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women's Challenger Cup in a bid to join the 2020 edition of the elite FIVB Volleyball Nations League. 

Czech Republic will be competing against Belarus in the first semi-final of the day, at 16:00 CEST. You can follow the match live at

News nr. 4 of 25
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20/06/2019 19:00:00
The final race for the #EuroLeagueW title begins on Friday

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