Yellow Tigers take on second round robin with caution despite three straight wins
2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Women
Antwerp, Belgium, September 21, 2016. After sweeping three matches in a row this past weekend in Bordeaux, Belgium’s Yellow Tigers are quite confident they can repeat the same feat on home soil when playing the second round robin on schedule for the second round qualifier – Pool B to the 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Women. Before the start of the matchup with France on Thursday, a special ceremony will take place at Lotto Arena to celebrate some of Belgium’s Olympic medallists from Rio 2016 – heptathlete and gold medallist Nafissatou Thiam, swimmer and silver medal winner Pieter Timmers and the members of the men’s hockey team that won silver as well after losing to Argentina in the final.
However, there are more reasons to celebrate for the Yellow Tigers since three members of the team will have their birthday this coming weekend – Britt Herbots and Jasmien Biebauw will turn 17 and 26, respectively on Saturday – Hélène Rousseaux 25 on Sunday.
Their coach Gert Vande Broek, however, plays down any excessive enthusiasm. “The only reason to celebrate will be on Sunday night if we are qualified to the Final Round of the European Championship. And we know that it won’t be easy to accomplish this feat looking at the results from last week. We first play France and for them this will be a live-or-die match. They are with their back against the wall after losing twice last week and as a result they can be really dangerous. It’s going to be a tough match,” he said.
“We are in a pool with evenly matched teams. We knew that Spain have a strong team even though they have no major stars, however they are well organised and good especially at blocking,” Vande Broek continued. “They are a dangerous outsider. They play with a lot of fun and a good attitude. They will be in high spirits especially after last Sunday they won 3-0 against France. We are happy with the results we achieved last week but our job isn’t finished at all.”
As for the third opponent, Vande Broek said: “Bosnia and Herzegovina are not that weak. They had some kind of a burn-out against us because they had put a lot of energy in their previous matches with France and Spain. Of course, it is an advantage to play these matches before the home crowd and we expect a lot of supporters will come and cheer us on throughout the weekend.”
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