Focus on the ‘Players of the Day’ – August 27
Another day filled with exciting matches, as teams fight for a spot in the next stage of the competition at CEV EuroVolley 2019 Women. Once again, despite the collective efforts always needed to produce a victory, some players stood out for their individual performances, this playing a leading role towards the success of their respective teams.
Pool A – Miroslava Paskova (BUL)
It was a make-or-break bout as Bulgaria played Greece on Tuesday evening, with the Lionesses desperately needing a victory to stay in the tournament – and more specifically to remain in contention for a spot in the elimination round. Even though Anthi Vasilantonaki of Greece top scored with 19 points, Bulgaria’s team effort produced a vital 3-0 victory for the Balkan team and Paskova – who is only 23 years old – was the leading player of her team with a personal tally of 13 points.
Pool B – Dominika Sobolska (BEL)
It feels like the delivery of good performances in Lodz is some sort of a natural thing for Dominika Sobolska. The Belgian middle-blocker, whose parents are from Poland, has represented as many as four Polish clubs so far in her career and she clearly remembers well what it is like to play well in Atlas Arena. With an amazing 75% success rate in attack, Sobolska scored 12 points, added some spectacular blocks and was the team’s energetic X-factor again as the Yellow Tigers beat Portugal 3-1 to seal their third victory in Pool B. “We lost a set today because of our own mistakes... Before tomorrow’s match against Poland, we must stabilise our serve. As you look at the statistics, you can tell that every element in our game could look better. Tomorrow is a new day. The emotions will be a little different and I hope we will win,” Sobolska commented.
Pool C – Sanja Popovic-Gamma (CRO)
The 35-year-old opposite hitter of Croatia had a truly outstanding performance in the extremely important match with Romania. She came in halfway through the second set as a substitution for team captain Samanta Fabris, while Romania were leading 12-6. Thanks to her powerful serve, the Croats came back from 9-15 to 14-15, even if eventually they lost this set. She was the main driver of the Croatian team in the subsequent sets, using her valuable experience to help her younger teammates. She motivated them all the time and helped her side come from behind (14-18) in the fourth set as well. She scored as many as 14 points – six of them being aces! With a 67% success rate in attack and an incredible fighting spirit, she was the real match winner for Croatia.
Pool D – Jessica Rivero (ESP)
Jessica Rivero, who was born in Camagüey, Cuba, recorded as many as 28 points to help Spain claim their second victory in the tournament. Las Leonas del Voley came back from two sets down to edge Switzerland at the tiebreak and Rivero’s powerful spikes played a key role in this turnaround.
“She won the key points for us,” said the head coach of Spain, Pascal Saurin. On Tuesday, Rivero scored six aces and seven points more than her teammate Ana Escamilla, Spain’s most prolific player in the tournament this far.