ANALYSIS: Volleyball players touched the ceiling with fans in the back. They played the championship beyond their means


The representatives drove the fans crazy and with the help of the Ostrava audience they even tried to reach the semifinals after twenty years. Although they were forbidden, they received a lot of applause and enthusiastic chanting from five thousand spectators in the auditorium: Guys, thank you! It sounds like a cliché, but this time the fans were really the extra player, in addition to which they squeezed performances from the representatives beyond the edge of their volleyball possibilities.

Slovenians have learned and improved a lot

When the national team met Slovenia for the second time at the tournament, they tried to repeat the sensational 3: 1 victory from the opening match in the group against the silver defenders. But the quarterfinals were played twelve days later, and the opponent already had a perfectly tuned volleyball machine.

The brave fight against the Slovenes was no longer enough. The volleyball players did not open the goal of the semifinals

“There was a chance that doesn’t have to be repeated for a long time, but we also have to admit that just enthusiasm, great energy and dedication were not enough for us. Slovenia played significantly better than at the beginning of the tournament, going up unbelievably in all positions. It had far more juice in its speech, it was based on the game intention, “said coach Jiří Novák.

The volleyball players also felt that they had hit their ceiling. “When you lose to a stronger opponent, you have to accept it. Slovenians showed us how the absolute top plays. They surpassed us in service, on the net, in defense and they even had a better pass. Especially the balloons, which they caught in the field, mostly finished. They just took a balloon and folded it, you can’t say that about us, “said the experienced universal Jan Hadrava.

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We got mad, says Hadrava

The Slovenians, instructed by the previous match, did not let themselves be surprised. “We lacked more volleyball to break them fundamentally or force them to make more significant mistakes,” Novák admitted. “After an amazing round of 16, we believed that we could beat Slovenia a second time. they probably crossed their shadow, “Hadrava admitted.

Slovenia’s players greet the Czech Republic after the match.

Jaroslav Ožana, ČTK

“We probably don’t have the quality to move to the top four in Europe yet, because we were only fifteen in the continental ranking before the championship,” reminded the smoker Jan Galabov. I am pleased with the results and the performance of the team, “he said.

Novák was glad that the representatives in the home environment showed their quality. “They touched elite opponents and I believe they understood how hard they have to work on themselves to get to a higher European level,” added the coach, whose contract for the national team ends.

We played here with our hearts and we end up with our heads held high, says Hadrava

The head of the union, Marek Pakosta, immediately came up with an offer to negotiate a new contract. “But there are a lot of variables. After all, I also have my duties in Karlovy Vary and I would also like to slow down a bit for personal reasons. But I’m definitely happy for what we showed at the championship this year, “concluded Novák.

“If I had to evaluate it, the boys showed amazing performances here, in some places they played beyond their means. We are not completely in the European top and the fact that we managed to beat Slovenia in the group and France already in the playoffs is an important bonus for all players, for their self-confidence and further career growth, “said Pakosta.

Fans of Slovenia.

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Jaroslav Ožana, ČTK

Only Italy and Poland without losing

Of the 24 countries participating in this year’s European Volleyball Championships, only four have remained in the game, waiting for medal matches this weekend in Katowice. The semi-finalists have seven matches in a row, only the Italians and the great Poles managed them without a defeat at home.

Only teams from the basic groups in Krakow and Ostrava reached the top stage. The tournament was co-organized by Tampere in Finland and Tallinn in Estonia, but all teams advancing from there were eliminated after moving to the elimination section in Poland or the Czech Republic.

A clear matter. Italy swept Germany away in Ostrava and is in the semifinals of the European Championships

The French attribute their shocking eight-final crash to fatigue from a great Olympic campaign. “We are not machines and unfortunately we have all been very exhausted. However, the Czechs played well and were driven by the incredible audience, “returned the holder of the Olympic gold medal, the universal of the French team Jean Patry, to the biggest sensation of the tournament.

The experts also paid tribute to coach Novák, who had a successful playing career in Paris. There was even the thought of revealing all the secrets of French volleyball. Perhaps better than the Brazilian coach of the opponent Rezende, who did not have enough time to get to know and understand the player after the change of the whole implementation team after the gold at the Olympics.

The coach of the volleyball team of the Czech Republic Jiří Novák during the match of the European Championship against Belarus.

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Sznapka Petr, ČTK

The second Olympic finalist, Russia, has already finished at the championship. On the contrary, Serbs continue to live their dream of defending the title, Slovenes would at least like to repeat the match for gold and the reigning world champions Poles cannot have a lower goal at home than to occupy the European throne. But we cannot forget the Italians who rejuvenated the team after Tokyo and present themselves in the tournament with probably the most stable performances.

A graduate of the Faculty of Law of Charles University, whose destiny became sports journalism. He works in the Práva editorial office Martin Kézr since 1990 and he also passes on his experience to the students of the Higher Vocational School of Journalism in Prague. He is the head of the hockey section of the Club of Sports Journalists.

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