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05/05/2017 09:43
Estonian national teams get ready for World Championship qualifiers and much more!
News from the National Federations

Tallinn, Estonia, May 5, 2017. The men’s and women’s national teams of Estonia have started this week their preparations for a busy, exciting summer – and this applies especially to the men who are set to enter as many as three ‘major’ tournaments. Estonia will first host a qualifier to the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship from May 24 to 28 before they make their historic debut in the FIVB World League in early June – and later this summer compete at EUROVOLLEY POLAND 2017.

The head coach of the Estonian men’s national team, Gheorghe Crețu pointed out that what really matters is that the players are healthy and ready for new challenges. “When it comes to the World Championship qualification and to the World League games, we will play against new and very strong opponents. I would like to see that within the last club season our players have become stronger not only physically but also mentally, and that they can help the national team make it to the next level,” Crețu said.

Estonia will play Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, Romania and Russia in the World Championship qualifier they host on home soil later this month. As for the World League, their opponents will be Chinese Taipei, Greece, Montenegro, Qatar, Tunisia and Venezuela.

Crețu called up 17 players to join the training camp. The group includes, inter alia, Oliver Venno, who was the best scorer of the Turkish national league, the best middle blocker from the Pro A French national league, Ardo Kreek, as well as the MVP from the Final Four of the 2016 CEV Volleyball European League, Robert Täht. Täht has just returned home from a very successful season in the Polish national league with Cuprum LUBIN and will be among the ones to watch out for together with setter and long-time team captain, Kert Toobal.

The Estonian women’s national team will play their World Championship qualification games in Portugal. Next to the hosts of the tournament, Estonia will take on Finland, France, Germany and Slovenia. Because of injury, Anu Ennok, who has received the award for the country’s best female Volleyball player for five years in a row, will have to skip the national team season. Another strong outside hitter, Polina Bratuhhina-Pitou, will be also missing the upcoming competition.

“We are not as strong as we were last autumn when we played the qualifiers to the 2017 EuroVolley but if we think a little bit more in a long-term perspective, our players will get an extremely valuable experience for their future. Many former substitutes or players featuring on the national team for the first time in their careers will get a supreme opportunity to prove themselves. And in terms of future development of Estonian Volleyball, this is a good thing because the more strong players we have, the stronger will be our team,” head coach Andrei Ojamets said.

Estonian men’s national team

Setters: Markkus Keel (PÄRNU VC, Estonia), Andres Toobal (Topvolley Callant ANWERPEN, Belgium), Kert Toobal (RENNES Volley 35, France)
Middle blockers: Andri Aganits (Stade Poitevin POITIERS, France), Ardo Kreek (PARIS Volley, France), Mart Naaber (Bigbank TARTU, Estonia), Timo Tammemaa (Spacers’ TOULOUSE, France), Henri Treial (ČEZ KARLOVARSKO, Czech Republic)
Outside hitters: Karli Allik (Selver TALLINN, Estonia), Kristo Kollo (Volley SCHÖNENWERD, Switzerland), Taavet Leppik (PÄRNU VC, Estonia), Andrus Raadik (Pielaveden Sampo PIELAVESI, Finland), Robert Täht (Cuprum LUBIN, Poland)
Opposite hitters:
Renee Teppan (Hypo Tirol INNSBRUCK, Austria), Oliver Venno (Maliye Milli Pìyango ANKARA, Turkey)
Liberos: Denis Losnikov (Selver TALLINN, Estonia), Rait Rikberg (Bigbank TARTU, Estonia)
Head coach: Gheorghe Crețu
Assistant coach: Rainer Vassiljev

Estonian women’s national team

Setters: Julija Mõnnakmäe (KOHILA VC/E-Service, Estonia), Liis Noormets (TARTU University/Eeden, Estonia), Melissa Varlõgina (TALLINN University, Estonia)
Middle blockers: Eliise Hollas (TERVILLE Florange Olympique Club, France), Agnes Karm (Audentese SG/Noortekoondis, Estonia), Liis Kullerkann (Schwarz-Weiß ERFURT, Germany), Eliisa Peit (KOHILA VC/E-Service, Estonia)
Outside hitters: Raili Kont-Kontson (TALLINN University, Estonia), Kristiine Miilen (Woman Volley ROVANIEMI, Finland), Nette Peit (LINDESBERG Volley, Sweden), Silvia Pertens (Audentese SG/Noortekoondis, Estonia), Erle Püvi (TTÜ/Tradehouse, Estonia)
Opposite hitters: Kadi Kullerkann (Eurosped TVT ALMELO, Netherlands), Kertu Laak (KOHILA VC/E-Service, Estonia),
Liberos: Kristi Nõlvak (TTÜ/Tradehouse, Estonia), Loora Orav (Audentese SG/Noortekoondis, Estonia)
Head coach: Andrei Ojamets
Assistant coach: Marko Mett

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