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08/06/2017 15:20
Slovakia hope to repeat their success from 2016 in upcoming European League
2017 CEV Volleyball European League - Women

Bratislava, Slovakia, June 8, 2017. The goal of Slovakia women’s national team in the 2017 edition of the CEV Volleyball European League is to repeat their success from last year. The team mentored by Marek Rojko claimed the silver medal in their maiden appearance in the competition as they topped Pool A, before beating Slovenia in the semis and eventually losing to Azerbaijan in the finals.

Slovakia will play in Pool C along with Spain, Portugal and Sweden with two round robin tournaments taking place in Valladolid and Matosinhos respectively. “Our goal is to qualify to the semi-finals. We expect difficult games against strong opponents, but I think that our team has the quality to reach the semis,” said Rojko before a trip lasting for 11 days. The Slovak team started their journey on Thursday morning from Vienna, flying first to Brussels and from there to Madrid before travelling to Valladolid by bus. After completion of that first tournament, they will move straight from Spain to Portugal. “It is great that our Federation arranged this and we don’t have to come back to Slovakia. We will save two days of travelling, which would cost us a lot of energy,” added Rojko.
 
Two weeks ago Slovakia finished fourth at a World Championship qualifier in Warsaw. “This is another kind of competition and we have set totally different goals for the European League. Back in Warsaw we played in a very strong and competitive pool, with three classy teams such as Serbia, Poland and the Czech Republic. We are looking forward to the start of the European League and we want to repeat our success from last year. I don’t know Spain and Portugal very well, but we will study their teams and tactics. Sweden has a very good player, young opposite Isabelle Haak, who was the top scorer of the French national league this season, but she can’t win any matches all by herself,” said middle blocker Michaela Abrhamova. The 23-year-old player from Bratislava, who has been the best blocker of the French league for two consecutive years, recently announced her transfer from SAINT-RAPHAËL Var VB to reigning national champions ASPTT MULHOUSE.
 
There are no major changes to the roster of Team Slovakia compared to the World Championship qualifier they contested two weeks ago in Warsaw. However, the injured second setter Lucia Sedlackova was substituted by Lenka Oveckova and outside hitter Nikola Radosova will take some time off to recover from a knee injury, with Miroslava Kuciakova stepping in for her.

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