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07/04/2021 20:00
Croatia’s Beta Dumančić recounts challenging season, looks forward to national team campaign
News from the National Federations

Zagreb, Croatia, April 7, 2021. Middle blocker Beta Dumančić is certainly one of the most experienced players on the roster of the Croatian national team. After leaving her native Osijek to study in the USA at Clemson University, she has pursued a professional career in countries as diverse as the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and Italy – spending the 2020/2021 season with Zanetti BERGAMO.

“This was not the happiest season,” admits Beta, who recently celebrated her birthday at the end of March. “We lost in the first round of the playoffs, which means we failed to achieve our goals as a team and we can call this a rather disappointing season,” says honestly Beta, who has spent the Easter holidays at home. About whether or not she will stay in Italy, she continues: “I do not know anything yet, since the season has just ended, so negotiations and agreements are just starting. I would love to stay in Italy, this is where you can play Volleyball at the highest level and this is definitely a step forward for me compared to previous clubs. Moreover, life in Italy is great, I like everything there, and I am even relatively close to my home. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, nothing was normal, and so, unfortunately, life in Italy too.”

Bergamo experienced much hardship last year when the pandemic first hit Italy. “The situation is now much better, they went through their worst phase right at the beginning of the pandemic, but precisely because Bergamo is part of Lombardy we were in the red zone for most of the season, under lockdown, especially from Christmas and until Easter. Bergamo was not as problematic as Milan, but the authorities took restrictive measures for the whole area. Therefore, from that real life in Italy I could not experience that much. Well, in the end we have adjusted to everything, even to constant testing, lockdown, halls without spectators,” Beta continues.

How does it feel to play in one of the top leagues in the world? “From the beginning, I needed to adjust to the way they work in Italy, and the game is different there than in Germany, where I spent the previous season in Schwerin. I also had a knee injury, which I successfully healed, so I played for most of the season, and from that side I am satisfied, since I could see that I can play at that high level.”

Beta will soon join the Croatian national team, which, she says, is something she is looking forward to: “We have not seen each other for a long time, since the beginning of 2020 and the qualifying tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games held in the Netherlands. We hear each other occasionally, we have had some form of communication, but that is not the same as before. I know we have a lot of work to do this summer, there are many competitions ahead of us, the CEV European Golden League, the FIVB Challenger Cup, the European Championship, and I am really looking forward to it. There is always good energy and a great atmosphere in the national team, and I am looking forward to working with coach Santarelli again, and to raising the level of my own game through his training. This summer there will be some new, young girls in the national team, and I believe that my role will be somewhat different than it was before. These are all reasons why I am looking forward to the preparations in Zadar with much impatience and excitement. Until then, I will be able to rest, but also to train in Osijek, so I will be well ready for the first day of preparation. By the way, the fact that the preparations are right by the sea also has its charm,” concludes the 189 cm tall Dumančić with a laugh.

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