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12/01/2019 10:00
Women’s national team makes headlines in Estonia after historic EuroVolley qualification
CEV EuroVolley 2019 Women

Tallinn, Estonia, January 12, 2019. The Estonian women’s Volleyball national team made history on Wednesday as they qualified for EuroVolley for the first time in history. It is actually much more than just that since no other women’s national team from Estonia had previously made it to the final stage of the European or World Championship in any Olympic sport!

As they were on the brick of qualification before their last game against Finland, the team drew much interest from Estonian media. More than 10 journalists from Estonia travelled to Finland to witness the big match and since the historic win all the players and coaches have been in the spotlight, giving interviews non-stop and visiting different talk shows on TV and radio.

For the players and head coach Andrei Ojamets it was a bit of a shock not just to qualify but to finish first in Pool E. “If someone had told me a few years ago or even a year ago that we would play in the final tournament, I would have told them it is crazy talk! The opponents we had were extremely strong and with a long history in women’s Volleyball. Of course we dreamed about this, but I will be honest, this was just a big dream,” admitted Ojamets who – together with his staff and players – shared a few tears of joy after the final point.

Team Estonia celebrate their home victory over Sweden - a result that further cemented their chances to go for a historic EuroVolley maiden appearance.

“It is still a bit unreal for me, what has happened, but I guess the saying “dream big and be brave and big things will happen” is true after all. This is not a regular group of players; they really are like a family. All this loud singing on the bus to the training and games, they are truly amazing. I have worked as a coach for 35 years and this is just amazing, I never thought I would experience something like this,” Ojamets added.

Key players also admit it is hard to believe they will play at EuroVolley2019. “It was the first time we had such interest from the media and fans, it was a new situation for the whole team to adjust. When I took to the court before the game against Sweden in Tartu, I realised it was a full house – 2,300 fans were rooting for us. It did get to us, since my legs were shaking in the first set. However, we managed to cope with it and could enjoy the huge support from the fans, so it carried us on. This is what I always dreamed of - to play an important game in front of a big crowd,” said Kristiine Miilen, who was one of the leaders through the qualification, scoring 21 points against Finland. “This is for my country! These moments are why we do this!”