Slovakia can count on Chrtiansky in Rovinj
2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men & Women
Bratislava, Slovakia, September 21, 2016. Slovakia can rely on some extra help before the second round robin tournament on schedule for the second round qualifiers to the 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship – Men coming up later this week in Rovinj, Croatia. Outsider spiker Stefan Chrtiansky (pictured) is back from injury and will help his team as Slovakia try to secure their sixth consecutive appearance in the EuroVolley Final Round.
“Stefan is fit again and he is ready to join our team,” said coach Miroslav Palgut in Bratislava before departing to Croatia. Slovakia started their journey on Tuesday. They stopped in the Slovenian city of Maribor along the way to Rovinj where they had one practice before the travel to the Croatian coastal city resumed on Wednesday morning.
After the first round robin contested last weekend in Poprad Slovakia sit on top of the tables in Pool D with three wins and maximum nine points. “We are satisfied with our performance in Poprad even though there are still some things to iron out. Our position before the tournament in Rovinj is very good, but we are still not qualified to the Final Round and we have to remain focussed, especially on our first game against Latvia on Thursday,” added setter Branislav Skladany.
The Slovakian men’s national team has participated eight times in the Final Round of the CEV Volleyball European Championship and is one of the most successful across all team sports in the country. They debuted in 1997, then qualified for the EuroVolley Finals in 2001, 2003 and five straight times from 2007 to 2015. Their best result came in 2011 when they finished fifth at the championship co-hosted by Austria and Czech Republic.
As Rovinj will host a double-gender tournament, Slovakia women are also set to play at the same venue. The team mentored by Marek Rojko travelled to Rovinj by also stopping in Maribor on their way to the Adriatic Sea. Slovakia currently sit in second place in their pool after the opening tournament in Povoa de Varzim, Portugal. “Our first game against Israel will be very important. If we win and take three points, we will be close to securing at least second place in the pool, which means we would be through to the third round of qualifications,” Rojko said in Bratislava.
Team captain Jaroslava Pencova echoed his words. “Our goal is to remain in contention for a spot in the Final Round, which means we have to finish at least second in our pool. We have to beat Israel and after that we will be trying to upset the current leaders of the group, Croatia,” the middle blocker said.