Belgian ladies crown memorable Sunday with final four ticket
2013 CEV Volleyball European League - Women
Hamburg, Germany, June 30, 2013. On Sunday the players of Belgium women’s national team could emulate their compatriots as they booked a ticket to the final four of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European League after edging Israel in straight sets (21-13, 21-10, and 21-15) in their last match scheduled for the third round of action in Pool B. Though there is still one more leg in Israel, the Belgians – once again paced by Lise Van Hecke with 10 points while Els Vandesteene registered nine – could celebrate the qualification for the final four in what is their first participation in the CEV Volleyball European League. Sunday brought some joy also to the local heroines of Germany who – before 1’530 spectators and with their captain Margareta Anna Kozuch on fire as she scored 20 points – edged Serbia 3:1 (21-10, 17-21, 21-19, and 21-18) to cement their second place in the standing of the group and assert their credentials for taking the second spot available for the last stage of the competition.
Gert Vande Broek, Belgium’s head coach, commented: “I think it was the right answer after the defeat we suffered yesterday to Germany. We can travel to Israel very relaxed and start working on some minor details. I’m proud because we were very concentrated from the start up to the end of the game and I could use this match as an opportunity for some young girls to join the game”. About the tournament in Hamburg, Vande Broek said: “Winning after scoring a series of six wins is more difficult than after a defeat. We come from nowhere because nobody knew Belgium and its value before the last two weeks. Our opponents are well prepared tactically so it becomes more and more difficult to win a game. They improve the quality of their performances against us, but I think we have showed that we can improve too”.
Arie Selinger, Israel’s head coach: “Belgium is too strong for us. We need more matches at this level to improve. Sometimes our level isn’t bad but we have no consistency. I don’t think about the next tournament in Israel, my goal is to develop a team. Four years ago Israel had no women’s national team, so we have to take it step by step”.
Aleksandar Vladisavljev, Serbia’s head coach, said after the defeat to Germany: “I think we have seen that there is only a small difference between Germany and our young team. I’m very proud and satisfied with my team. They showed a good performance against a strong German side and this was the game we worked for, and I think we have another chance to win next week as we play in Israel”.
Serbia’s middle blocker Jovana Stevanovic who on Sunday turned 21: “I’m disappointed that we lost against Germany because we showed that we can keep their pace even though they have got more experience. I have celebrated my birthday a title bit today. Now it’s not the time to party as we have to continue to improve and try to win next week”.
Giovanni Guidetti, Germany’s head coach: “We won because our quality is higher, we make fewer mistakes and our block starts to work properly. We had problems in attack and defense, and this was the reason why I changed so many players. I think the European League is very important for us because my team needs more games to improve on the quality of their performances”.
Wing-spiker Maren Brinker commented: “It was our aim to win all three games in Hamburg to lay the foundations for our qualification to the final four. We made a big step forward this week as a team as well as individually. It was awesome to play in Hamburg because this was our only chance to play in Germany before the European Championship coming up in September”.
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