Focus on the ‘Players of the Day’ – August 25
The CEV EuroVolley 2019 Women is providing the ideal stage for Europe’s established Volleyball stars to shine, but also to some other players to emerge and make a name for themselves while competing at the continental showpiece event for national teams. These are the four standout performers that emerged from Sunday’s matches in Ankara, Lodz, Budapest and Bratislava.
Pool A – Anthi Vasilantonaki (GRE)
Greece are living a dream in Ankara following consecutive victories in their matches with France and Finland. As they make their first EuroVolley appearance since 2001, the Hellenic team can count on two major assets – Anthi Vasilantonaki and Olga Strantzali. Anthi, who has been playing in the Italian league for a few years already, was the top scorer in the matchup with Finland. She and Strantzali have returned to Ankara some eight years after making their international debut with Greece at the 2011 U18 European Championship held in the Turkish capital when they were both only 15 years old.
Pool B – Paola Egonu (ITA)
Having scored 20 points, including two blocks and one ace against Ukraine, Paola Egonu has proved to be one of this year’s EuroVolley most efficient players. The 20-year-old hitter shone in the Sunday night game in Łódź but later admitted that the “hard part of the tournament is yet to come”. “I am glad to be presenting the level fans expect from me – I have been lucky to practice with some great girls lately who help me highlight my strengths,” she said.
Pool C – Nneka Obiamaka Onyejekwe (ROU)
The Romanian 30-year-old middle-blocker and team captain played a leading role in her team’s victory over Estonia. She delivered an excellent performance, even though she was not the top scorer of the game. With a 73% success rate in attack, scoring 11 points, and with the addition of five blocks, she was highly instrumental towards her side’s success. Her emotional reactions gave her team an impulse to make an even bigger effort in the battle against the EuroVolley rookies from Estonia. Even in the toughest moments, she did not let her teammates forget that they are competing at EuroVolley to win.
Pool D – Ana Escamilla (ESP)
Ana Escamilla piled up as many as 28 points on Sunday as she helped Spain claim their first victory at EuroVolley 2019 Women in a 3-1 shutout of Belarus. She did so by killing 23 spikes, registering four blocks and one ace. The 21-year-old outside hitter is slowly but surely becoming one of the surprise packages of the competition and if Spain are still in contention for a spot in the next round, she deserves much of the credit.