Estonia and Sweden extend rivalry in quest for ticket to EuroVolley Women
Luxembourg, January 6, 2019. Spain and Ukraine qualified on Saturday for EuroVolley 2019 Women but there are some more teams fighting for the right to compete at the Volleyball event of the year. Estonia and Sweden will be taking to the court on Sunday in Tartu for a make-or-break match while Greece and Belgium have already secured their qualification and will be trying to extend their winning streak to five matches in a row when playing Israel and Norway in Pool A and C, respectively. Make sure you follow all of the action by signing up to EuroVolleyTV, the new digital home of European Volleyball!
Belgium vs. Israel
• Belgium’s Yellow Tigers booked their ticket to EuroVolley 2019 Women back in August already, courtesy of four straight 3-0 wins in their pool.
• However, they still go for a victory when playing Israel in Kortrijk on Sunday afternoon as they use the last two matches in the pool to prepare for the much more challenging matches scheduled for this summer in the Volleyball Nations League and EuroVolley.
• Israel are still in contention for second place in the pool, in a direct duel with Slovenia.
“We have a young team, without major stars, but we always work with the same ambition and motivation. We know each other very well since most of the players attended the Volleyball School in Vilvoorde before,” adds outside hitter Jodie Guilliams, who currently plays for Ladies in Black AACHEN in the German national league. “We have a busy summer ahead and I do not know if some of the more experienced players such as Lise Van Hecke, Laura Heyrman or Freya Aelbrecht will come back to the team. We will be playing in the Volleyball Nations League and after that, we want to play an important role at EuroVolley as well. We have an Olympic qualifier as well in August, but it will be difficult to qualify for Tokyo 2020 from the intercontinental phase. However, let’s focus on improving our level in the next games, starting with Israel on Sunday to finish with Iceland on Wednesday.”
Greece vs. Norway
• Greece are undefeated, top of the pool going into Sunday’s match, having already secured their ticket to the final phase.
• Norway still seek their first win in the competition, currently on a four-match losing streak.
• Greece set to return to EuroVolley final phase for first time in 18 years, since claiming 12th place in 2001.
Styliani Christodoulou, team captain of Greece: “I am very happy to be here with the security of having already qualified, but we promise to give our best in our last remaining matches and we want to have our fans by our side Sunday evening.”
Estonia vs. Sweden
• The last time Estonia and Sweden played in the EuroVolley qualification round, Estonia managed to win 3-1.
• As the home team is hoping to qualify to the Final Round for the first time in their history, the organisers have mobilised fans to help achieve this goal. Therefore, they expect a big crowd for the match due to take place in Tartu.
• There are some question marks in the line-ups for both teams; Sweden’s star player Isabelle Haak is not travelling to Estonia, while Estonia’s Eliise Hollas and Anu Ennok are nursing injuries, so the coaches have some difficult decisions to make.
Andrei Ojamets, head coach of Estonia: “There is no secret: we aim to make it to the Final Round. This is what everybody is talking about, but I hope my team will manage to keep outside talks out of their heads. We try to concentrate on our own game. We need to play with cold heads and warm hearts.”
Jonas Svantesson, head coach of Sweden: “We have played a lot of times against Estonia and it will be fun to meet with them again, because we are two teams with the same level and who has a better day, will win. We must keep our own mistakes down to a minimum and work hard.”
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Information by cev.lu