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27/09/2015 10:00
Slovenia to play underdog card at EuroVolley
2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women

Apeldoorn, Netherlands, September 27, 2015.  As Europe’s Volleyball stars brace to shine in the highlight of the year, one of the 16 teams participating in the 2015 CEV DELA Volleyball European Championship  - Women is living the event being held in The Netherlands and Belgium with special thrill. The eyes of continental Volleyball are set on Slovenia, since Bruno Najdic’s ladies are making their first ever appearance in the Final Round of the womens EuroVolley.

The Slovenian side is the only squad in The Netherlands and Belgium taking the stage of the European Championship for the first time. The dreams and hopes of the Slovenian players and fans came true on Saturday when the team made its official debut among the European Volleyball elite in Apeldoorn Omnisport sports hall. “The atmosphere in the match against The Netherlands was amazing. I’ve never played in front of so many spectators!”, declared Slovenian captain Marina Cvetanovic.

However, it was not an easy introduction for the young Slovenian squad, as the “Slovenke” met co-hosts and top contenders The Netherlands in the inaugural clash of the Pool A. The local squad beat the newcomers 3:0, but the Slovenians finally had the chance to make their dreams of starring in the EuroVolley come true. “Overall I think we can do better. The Dutch crowd was impressive, and I think that this situation influenced our players a little. Now we have to forget this match and try to do better against Italy and Poland,” commented Slovenian coach Bruno Najdic. Meanwhile, captain Marina Cvetanovic stated the high level of enthusiasm in the team: “We are really happy that we qualified for this European Championship. Although this is our first Final Round, we’re not coming here only to participate! We want to make something happen!”

While the hopeful side has repeatedly been on the verge of making it to the Final Rounds of the CEV European Championship, the efforts finally paid off last May, when Slovenia beat France in the third phase of the competition. The stakes are inevitably high for the squad directed by Bruno Najdic; the Slovenian players have the ambition of shining in the event by becoming the surprising and successful underdogs of the tournament. “This European Championship is no vacation for us. We really want to achieve something, and maybe even cause a few surprises. We are followed by fans and media in Slovenia, they know we are playing here,” commented Najdic.

The Slovenians are presenting as main arguments in their quest to glory their remarkable newcomers’ motivation, and the efficiency of two of the top players in the previous rounds, scoring ace Ziva Recek and powerful blocker Sara Hutinski. It also helps to have the conviction of going through the best Volleyball era in the history of the country, with the crowning in the 2015 CEV Volleyball European League – Men, as well as the qualifications for the 2015 CEV European Championships Men and Women and for the 2015 FIVB Men’s U21 World Championship as main highlights. “As an athlete it’s a challenge to play against the best teams. (Against The Netherlands) we played at a good level, especially in the third set. Hopefully we can continue giving good performances in the near future,” declared Marina Cvetanovic.

While Slovenia dreams of signing their first victory in the competition, the enthusiastic group of women making history in Apeldoorn hope to continue writing new chapters in Slovenian Volleyball annals.  

For more information on the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women visit or click here. In social media, please use the competition’s official hashtag #EuroVolleyW.

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