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04/03/2013 17:41
Noliko MAASEIK through ups and downs in Playoffs of Belgian league
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Maaseik, Belgium, March 4, 2013. After making it to the Playoffs 12 of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Champions League, Noliko MAASEIK is going through ups and downs in the national league. Their campaign in the Playoffs started with a 1:3 defeat to Prefaxis MENEN before the guys around head coach Brecht Van Kerckhove edged Argex Duvel PUURS at home (3:1). This past weekend Noliko traveled to Roeselare to play there the archrivals of Knack and lost at the tie-break after dissipating a 2:0 lead.   
The two teams finishing atop of the charts in the national league will eventually qualify for the next edition of the Champions League and hence pretty much is at stake in every single match.
“Right before the start of the Playoffs our libero Bert Derkoningen got injured and we do not know how long he will be out” Noliko mentor stresses. “I had to appoint somebody else for this position and since Jelte Maan has got some experience playing as libero for the Dutch national team, he will be Bert’s substitute until he returns in action. I am not searching for excuses but this is a major handicap for my team as we miss Derkoningen as well as the contribution of Jelte Maan, one of our best wing spikers”.
Noliko – Belgium’s national champion – started out really good by pocketing the first two sets (26-24 and 25-19) but the hosts of Knack ROESELARE fought their way back (25-16, 25-19) to call for the tie-break before wrapping it up there at 15-12. For Knack this was the fourth consecutive win over Noliko MAASEIK this season. “We displayed a good performance in the first two sets and this shall keep our spirits up for the remainder of the Playoffs” Van Kerckhove adds. “The next couple of matches are extremely important as we first host Top Volley ANTWERPEN on Wednesday and then play Euphony ASSE-LENNIK on Saturday. We need to win these matches to keep our chances alive to remain in contention for the Championship” the Belgian mentor concludes.

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