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28/05/2019 23:00
Golden #EuroLeagueW at full throttle
CEV Volleyball European Golden League 2019

Luxembourg, May 28, 2019. The CEV Women’s Volleyball European Golden League 2019 resumes on Wednesday with a full programme of six matches across three pools. The Czech Republic and Ukraine will be vying for their second victory in Pool A, while Hungary and Croatia play for the leadership in Pool B. Belarus and Spain will be chasing their second win in as many matches as they play at home and away, respectively. The competition will be reaching its climax with the Final Four tournament due to take place in Varaždin, Croatia on June 21-22, 2019. You can follow all of the action through the CEV’s very own OTT platform, EuroVolleyTV.

Pool A

Czech Republic vs. Slovakia

•    For the new Czech national coach Ioannis Athanasopoulos it will be the premiere in front of the home fans.
•    The Czech Republic defend third place from the last edition of the competition.
•    Slovakia want to get their first points in the European Golden League after losing 0-3 to Ukraine last Saturday.
•    Pavla Šmídová is the new captain of the Czech team.

Pavla Šmídová, captain of the Czech Republic: “We are very happy for the first victory in the European Golden League – under a new coach and away from home it is a great result to win 3-0. We approached the match responsibly and followed the coach’s instructions. We are now looking forward to the home games in Brno and we hope to repeat the same result.”

Barbora Koseková, captain of Slovakia: “We started nervously our first match against Ukraine. Ukraine claimed an early lead in each set and we could not catch them anymore. We prepare now for the next game. I believe that the stress of the premiere in this competition has gone and we will do better in the Czech Republic.”

Sweden vs. Ukraine

•    Home team Sweden will try to bounce back after a 3-0 loss against Czech Republic while the Ukrainian team just came from a 3-0 home win against Slovakia.
•    Sweden’s youngest player was born in 2002 (Maya Tabron) and the oldest players are born in 1994 (Jonna Wasserfaller and Rebecka Lazic). Ukraine’s youngest player is also born in 2002 (setter Daria Velykokon) but their oldest player is born in 1990 (Daria Drozd).
•    Sweden is still missing superstar Isabelle Haak but her older sister Anna is defending the family honour.
•    These two teams have never played against each other before so it will be the first ever game between Sweden and Ukraine women’s national teams.

Rebecka Lazic, player of Sweden: “Our loss against the Czech team was tough. We have a very young team and many players who have not played on that level before so I think it was a bit of a shock once the game started and we never really played at our level but rather just let them play their game from start to end. We need to improve many things in our game in the coming match against Ukraine. The first game set the bar and we now know what to expect in the European Golden League. We know we have to play a lot better to compete with teams on this level. I think the whole team is hungry and ready to put in an extra gear.”

Anna Stepaniuk, player of Ukraine: “Everyone is healthy so we have a full team. There was a lot of nerves from our team during the first game but we did alright. Every game comes with its own nerves and excitement. We saw Sweden’s last game on TV and could see that they are very young but talented. We are focusing on the game and hope to be a little less nervous compared to the last game.”

Pool B

Croatia vs. Hungary

Coming soon...

France vs. Austria

•    Héléna Cazaute and Katharina Holzer, playing for France and Austria respectively, claimed the 2019 edition of the French national league with RC CANNES.
•    Setter Mallory Steux-Caleyron returns to play for Team France for the first time in three years.

Félix André, assistant coach of France: “Austria is a country that does not have such a rich history in women’s Volleyball, but just like France, their Federation has a project with talented young players, who are starting to play in some of the most competitive leagues in Europe. We expect a tough match and we must be ready for this.”

Svetlana Ilic, head coach of Austria: “We are a new team in the Golden League; we lost our first match against Croatia but I am not too disappointed, because my players delivered a very good performance. We are a young team with young players – and France are pretty much in the same condition even though they have a better position in the current European ranking.”

Pool C

Belarus vs. Finland

•    In the previous round, Belarus beat Azerbaijan 3-2, while Finland lost to Spain.
•    The last matches between Belarus and Finland date back to the 2017 edition of the European League, when Belarus lost twice 0-3. Those matches took place in Chyzhovka-Arena in Minsk, the same venue of Wednesday’s fixture.
•    Due the injury she sustained last Saturday, Team Belarus will be missing their middle blocker Nadzeya Stoliar.

Tapio Kangasniemi, head coach of Finland: “We expect a nice game, and we will try to play a good second round. I think every team wants to play better than they did in the first round. Of course, our loss in the first round is not so good, but this is sport. Sometimes we win, sometimes the others do. The next game is coming soon, so all we can do is just try to be better this time.”

Piotr Khilko, head coach of Belarus: “I hope this game will be beautiful and spectacular. Finland has good defence and it is not going to be an easy game for us, even though we might be stronger in attack. We will try to do our best. I think we have one big advantage – our fans. We just cannot play bad in front of them.”

Azerbaijan vs. Spain

•    Azerbaijan play their second match in the pool after losing 2-3 to Belarus on Sunday in Minsk.
•    Spain, on the other hand, secured a 3-1 away victory in Finland.

Giovanni Caprara, head coach of Azerbaijan: “It is a little bit difficult for the players, since they are working with a new coach and it is just the beginning of a new season. However, my team played well in Belarus. We started not so good, because we had many problems in reception but my players were able to deal with it and I am satisfied with the way they performed. For now, I can say almost nothing, because I have not seen Spain at all, therefore we have to focus on ourselves and try to play better than we did in the first match. We do not have to make mistakes in reception and we must show a good performance after the first touch. We have problems in these two skills.”

Marharyta Azizova, player of Azerbaijan: “Our first match was with Belarus. We did the best to achieve a victory. In the first set, we made many mistakes but in the remainder of the match, we could show a good team effort. I think the main reason why we lost is that we have less experience as a team. We will be playing our second match at home against Spain. We will try to show a better game and to win. I wish good luck to my team.”

Click here for further information.

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