Team Slovenia’s preparations for 2024 season underway in Kranjska Gora


Article Fri, May 3 2024

The Slovenian women’s national team has gathered in Kranjska Gora and started their preparations for the upcoming CEV European Golden League 2024. The first match awaits the Slovenian girls on May 17 in Estonia, and on May 24 and 26, they will get a chance to present themselves to their own fans in Maribor.

Italian-born Alessandro Orefice is at the helm of Team Slovenia for the first time

Team Slovenia, which last year competed at EuroVolley as well as at the Paris 2024 Olympic qualifiers, will be facing two major challenges in this national team season – the European Golden League and the EuroVolley 2026 qualifiers. First, they will compete in the 2024 CEV European Golden League, starting on May 17 with a matchup against Estonia, followed by a clash with Ukraine the day after. The second tournament will be hosted in Maribor from May 24 to 26, where Slovenia will meet Spain and Czechia. To conclude the first stage of the competition, Slovenia will be facing Slovakia and Sweden in Bratislava.

Many players have pulled out unfortunately, so the new coach Alessandro Orefice, who finished the club season with a French national championship title, does not have all the best players at his disposal: “I want to say that I am very happy to be here, to have the opportunity to work for an exceptional federation like the Volleyball Federation of Slovenia, and with an excellent staff. We find ourselves in a very specific situation, and I must be honest and say that I really did not expect such a high number of players to pull out. However, now we need to focus on the players who have come to Kranjska Gora. Despite everything, our goals remain the same. We will present ourselves in the best possible light and try to win every game. That is our task. We do not have much time for our preparation, but it is the same for all teams. We already started building up our system. The working conditions are excellent, the players have an exceptional attitude towards work. I am confident that we will develop good energy and chemistry.” 

The team captain, Saša Planinšec, shares a similar mindset: 

“I am happy that those girls who are here today know why they came to the national team. I hope that we will be playing at a high level, showing our skills as much as possible on the court, playing with much desire and fighting spirit. I hope that we will find our playing rhythm as quickly as possible. For now, the feelings are positive; the coach, whom I did not know before, seems like an energetic and very ambitious person, which I think is great for our team.”

Lorena Lorber Fijok was very satisfied with the first stage of preparations: “I am very satisfied with the energy we are showing during our practices, as well as with the desire and focus of the players. I am very happy to be back with the national team. I am looking forward to hard work, looking forward to matches, and cannot wait for the rest of the preparations and competitions to begin.” 

There are three rookies in the national team, all three are members of the Slovenian U20 roster: opposite Nina Svetina, middle blocker Ajda Gornjec Hodnik, and libero Tara Filipič. In addition to the players already in Kranjska Gora, from Monday onwards, Orefice will also be able to count on opposite Nika Markovič and setter Sara Najdič.

The members of Team Slovenia have started preparing for the busy season ahead