Team Latvia ready to take on EuroVolley qualifiers
2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men
Riga, Latvia, September 12, 2016. After three test matches with the national team of Denmark, the 12 Latvian players bound to perform in the second round of qualifications to the 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Men starting later this week were announced by head coach Raimonds Vilde.
Looking forward to the matches on schedule for Pool D, the national team of Latvia went through a preparation period divided into three stages. In the middle of August, the team from the Baltic country travelled to Greece and had three test games against the local guys. Four sets were played in all games, not taking into consideration the score, and the Latvians managed to win twice by 3-1, and once settled for a 2-2 tie. Already after these matches coach Raimonds Vilde was glad about the work of his team. “The guys play with huge self-devotion; I am satisfied with their work at the practices.”
After that the team finished second at an international tournament in Minsk, losing only to hosts Belarus, before last weekend three test matches were contested in Riga against Denmark. Although, following the words of Vilde, it was not about winning, Latvia emerged victorious in all three occasions – 3-2, 3-1 and 3-1 respectively, results which gave the team the boost they needed, since emotional and psychological stability is the main point the Latvians still lack.
An addition to the team Latvia is also assistant coach Boriss Kolcins – the former teammate of Vilde at Radiotechnik RIGA, to this day the most successful team from Latvia. Kolcins, having worked with top clubs in Europe, is pleasantly surprised with the results the team has been achieving after only 1.5 months of practice. “Of course we are progressing. The boys are working diligently, also the matches we have played so far show a positive result. Speaking of the technical aspects, we could be better at blocking. That depends most on our middle blockers, who are all young and not very experienced in top-level games, but I like their dedication. We have good setters, so we are not afraid to make diagonal switches and we do that frequently. Maybe we could have better reception, and this way it would be easier for the setter to differ the game, and make it more difficult for the opponents to read.”
After the last match against Denmark, Raimonds Vilde named the 12 players to compete in Croatia and Slovakia in the matches on schedule for Pool D in what is the second stage of the qualifications to the 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship.
Team Latvia will be composed as it follows:
Setters: Deniss Petrovs, Artis Caics
Libero: Ingars Ivanovs
Middle Blockers: Andis Cimoska, Toms Svans, Gatis Slavens
Outside Hitters: Ruslans Sorokins, Romans Sauss, Aivars Petrusevics, Toms Vanags
Opposites: Hermans Egleskalns, Edvarts Buivids