Focus on the ‘Players of the Day’ – August 26
Monday’s matches at EuroVolley Women accounted for classy actions, a number of sensations and the emergence of young, talented players, while some well-known stars cemented their prominent status on the international stage even further. These are the standout performers from the fourth day of pool action in Ankara, Lodz, Budapest and Bratislava.
Pool A – Eda Erdem Dündar (TUR)
The charismatic team captain of Turkey, Eda Erdem Dündar scored as many as 14 points for her team as they secured their third straight victory in Pool A, dropping a set, but still achieving enough to claim a spot in the next round. The Turkish fans – younger and older – never stop calling out her name in Ankara and she is one of the favourite players to take a selfie with or to whom they ask an autograph. Eda is confident that there is room for improvement in Turkey’s game and that the Sultans of the Net can slowly but surely execute in the best way the plans prepared by the coaching staff around Giovanni Guidetti.
Pool B – Magdalena Stysiak (POL)
Magdalena Stysiak, one of Poland’s rising stars, was not only the youngest player on her side of the net but also one of the most important assets of the White-and-Reds in the matchup against Ukraine. The talented 18-year-old contributed to Poland’s 3-1 win with 19 points, which makes her the second best scorer of the match, after her teammate Malwina Smarzek-Godek (26).
At her young age, she drives for continuous improvement. The 203-cm opposite emphasises that “success likes silence” and promises progress in the next games. We cannot wait to see what she means by this - her fast reactions on the court as well as the wide range of offensive actions make her one of the fan favourites. “I feel that I played well today, but I know I have to be ambitious and set myself higher goals before the upcoming games against very strong opponents. We will fight against Belgium and I do not want us to be perceived as Wednesday’s favourites because Belgium have been showing really good Volleyball here in Lodz.”
Pool C – Laura Dijkema (NED)
The 29-year-old setter of the Netherlands played a very good game against Croatia. Even though there were some rotations, she balanced the game perfectly and marshalled her team with absolute mastery. She kept stimulating and motivating her teammates during the match to perform a victory dance after the final whistle of the game. Even if there is still a room for improvement, she and her teammates continued their winning streak without dropping a single set and they already booked a ticket to the EuroVolley 8th Finals.
Pool D – Jaroslava Pencova (SVK)
The Slovak middle blocker made 17 points for the home side, the most for the team and one more than Nina Herelova. Slovakia had a major reason to celebrate late at night after making it to the next round of EuroVolley for the first time in history. Pencova (29) raised the team spirit in those moments when the home team was two sets down and scored crucial points, which helped start an incredible comeback and make sure Slovakia are still unbeaten in the tournament.