Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sherman leaves Sweden

Meghan Sherman left Sweden for a job offer in the United States.

Athletic director: "A heavy loss, but great fun for her"

Meghan Sherman has accepted a coaching job that takes her back to her home country, therefore leaving Sweden for at least one year.
"She is very loved and will be missed," says athletic director Lars Englund.

This fall, Meghan Sherman, 27, will be starting as an assistant coach for a college volleyball team in the state of North Carolina.

"Tough news for us but great fun for her. Meghan's contract had expired [after this season] and this was an offer she could not refuse. For us it was hard to match, but we are of course very happy for her and hopefully she returns to GVK in the future."

Sherman's husband, Daniel Magnusson, however, looks set to stay in Sweden and is negotiating with the club to continue as head coach for the elite team.

"We've had one season, and want Daniel to stay. But there are some small details that we should agree on before we can sign the new contract," says Englund.

"Not only is Daniel a good coach, but he does a lot for the development of the association's youth players and leaders," he continues.

In addition to the loss of Meghan Sherman, the Dutch attacker Ester de Vries ended her season with GVK in late January due to a shoulder injury that demanded immediate repair.

Earlier this spring, Finnish outside hitter Hanna Salomäki decided to pursue her playing career back home in Finland.

"At the moment, we have no foreign professionals, but I'm working with several names that may become important to the club. Among others, is a 25 year-old American who is eager to come to us and a Ukrainian," revealing the sports director.

Among other players that will not continue next season are youngsters Gabriella Odenholt and Emina Bosno mentioned.

"They have chosen to begin their post-high school studies," explains Englund.

"But the backbone of the squad has started to emerge," adds Lars Englund, "including Mathilda Carlsson and Lisa Tannerfalk - both of whom have signed new contracts for the 2016/2017 season."

Friday, April 29, 2016

Star leaves GVK - moves home after one season

She scooped up points for Gislaved in both the Elite League and the Öresundliga.
Now Hanna Salomäki has decided to move back to Finland.
- "We'll miss you," writes the club on Instagram.

 290 points for the Finnish outside hitter - who now looks to pursue her playing career in the Finnish Mestaruusliiga with LP Kangasala. In March, Salomäki was selected to the Finnish women's national training squad. She is one of 26-players that will look to join the final 12-player roster slated to compete mid-September in the European Championships.

"Thank you for a brilliant season. Good luck, we'll miss you," GVK writes in a post on social media.

Hanna Salomäki left Gislaved as a few weeks ago after the team lost in the SM-quarterfinals against Svedala.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

GVK-board thoughts on Magnusson

Daniel Magnusson's contract with Gislaved expires this summer.
Now, the two parties shall meet.

Player-budget does not increase without more sponsors.

GVK's season was recently brought to an end after falling 0-3 in matches against Svedala quarterfinal series. 

Now Gislaved VK's prepares for the autumn.

"The club's existence must not be jeopardized," says the president Patrik Paananen.

With the Dutch outside hitter Ester de Vries and Finnish spiker Hanna Salomäki, GVK, at times, dazzled.

But when De Vries suddenly encountered a mysterious shoulder injury, Salomäki, along with libero Jessica Lakatos, fell ill with fever, the team had not much to offer.

Now the club has started the process for the next Elite League season.

"The girls should know they did very well and showed great strength throughout the season. The fact is that our squad was among the youngest and perhaps among the most inexperienced," says Patrik Paananen.

"It is sad that injuries and illness to key players halted our potential. It would have been very interesting to know how far we could go if both Ester and Hanna were healthy," he adds.

The contract with coach Daniel Magnusson expires in the summer and the parties shall begin their meetings.

Do you want to keep him as a coach?
"Yes, we want to keep Daniel. He does not only great benefit of developing elite-team players, but Daniel develops the entire association with his knowledge. He is important for GVK."

Will De Vries and Salomäki stay for a second season?
"I do not know the current situation, but the hope is that they want to remain in Gislaved. But I will come back with more comments about all the players later. We will meet them and discuss the future," says the GVK-chairman.

Will you increase the player budget?
"Depends on how many more sponsors we get. We will, in any case, not risk the club's existence in order to afford the more expensive players," concludes Patrik Paananen.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

New loses for Ekblad

Ebba Ekblad played with the Swedish national team at the u19 European Championship qualification in Croatia.
And after three losses, the team is out.

On Thursday, they met the host nation Croatia, and fell 0-3 (15-25, 16-25, 17-25).

On Saturday it was time for the second match, this time against Turkey. Unfortunately, there was a similar situation there. The Turkish squad took the match in straight sets (13-25, 11-25, 14-25).

On Sunday it was time for the the last match of the group stage, Sweden vs Spain. There, things were considerably smoother. 

Spain won the opening set 25-20 and the second 25-11, but with the Swedes came back with revenge, winning the third set 23-25. However, the Spaniards were able to turn the tide back in the fourth set, winning it 25-17 and the match 3-1 in sets.

- In [Sunday's] game, there were some players who stood out. Setter Kajsa Österman came in during the game and showed courage to play the most unexpected ways out and fooled Turkey's middles several times to go in the wrong direction. Outside hitter Ebba Ekblad came in and attacked high and hard against Turkey's large blocks and won several balls in the third," says coach Oscar Vikterlöf.


vs Croatia: sets played (2), kills (1)

vs Turkey: sets played (3), kills (3)

Vs Spain: sets played (4), kills (3)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Finnish player ends on top

Hanna Salomäki go home soon to Finland but is open to a sequel in Sweden. In GVK she has gained lifelong friends and also delivered on the court, which means that she won in Värnamo Nyheter's Hat Leage for GVK season 15/16. Photo: Henrik Hultqvist

Finnish spiker ended up in the top

Salomäki: "I was nervous about whether they would like me or not"

Hanna Salomäki took the win in the league hat in GVK.
But she did not know what she should expect when she came to Sweden.

You won the hat league this year. What do you think about that?
- Of course, I got a smile when I hear it. I have worked hard to get where I am right now and I'm really glad that other people can see it too. It keeps me motivated!

The season as a whole, what do you say about your own performance?
- I remember when I first came that people [around the club] talked about me as a good defender and receiver. But during the season, I have found the player in me that kills balls and steps up in tough situations. During the season, I have grown as a person. I had to take a lot of responsibility and it has given me a lot of confidence.

- But it's really sad that I got sick after the first playoff game and could not play after that. Competing in the playoffs is what all players want to do.

What do you say about the team's season?
- Our expectations were high for this season and we worked hard throughout the season to be ready for the playoffs. Unfortunately, Esther (de Vries) got injured during the second half of the season but the players who stepped up and played on her position, did it really well and I'm proud of them all. We had everything in our hands during the playoffs but Svedala had a little more routine.

What made you come to Sweden and Gislaved first place?
- I always wanted to see how volleyball is abroad, but I did not want to travel too far from home. So Sweden sounded like a good place and luckily Gislaved contacted my agent and wanted me. Of course I said yes and here I am, seven months later.

Was it what you expected?
- It was my first year abroad, so I did not really know what to expect. I remember I was really nervous about whether they would like me or not, haha. I'm glad they did and I liked the atmosphere when I came here the first time. They have taken good care of me and helped me when I needed it so there have not been any problems at all. During the years I have gained friends for life, so it's probably not my last time in Sweden.

Speaking of which, are you open to a new season in Gislaved, or should you move on?
- I have not met the board yet, but it will happen soon. Obviously I'm always open to opportunities here and elsewhere.

What will happen next for you?
- I go home to Finland soon, I can hardly wait to see my family and friends again. When I am well again I will start working out and when the summer comes to Finland and I'll play beach volleyball with my younger sister. But otherwise, I'll do a little traveling and enjoy the summer!

Facts: Hats VK Gislaved

1. Hanna Salomäki, 25.
2. Meghan Sherman, 23.
3. Lisa Tannerfalk, 20.
4. Jessica Lakatos, 17
5. Ester de Vries, 16.
6. Mathilda Carlsson 11.
7. Ebba Ekblad, Sofie Back 6.
9. Elin Andersson, Emma Tegnhammar, Pauline Adolfsson; 2.
12. Ida Lindbäck, Therese Bengtsson 1.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Season over for GVK

There was heavy challenge for GVK in the third quarter-final against Svedala. 
Photo: Henrik Hultqvist

Season over for GVK

Gislaved failed to blare out a victory in the quarterfinals meeting against Svedala. It is clear after loss 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-11) in the third match.

Gislaved had no good options.

Two of the three international professionals was missing and the first Libero.

But they still challenged the home team in the first set. After a nightmare opening where they trailed 0-6, GVK stood tall.

"It is the absolute best set ever with those who were on the court," says coach Daniel Magnusson.

They could not edge closer than 22-25, and were unable to pressure Svedala the rest of the game.

Second set was won by the home team with ten balls and the third and last of the season for GVK, with a clear 14 points.

Thus, the season is over for Gislaved losing match series against Svedala 3-0 in matches.

"There are many emotions running through your body but what I am pleased about is how we finished considering the players we have and the situation has become. We conclude with flying colors even if there is a loss it says on paper."

Virus raging through GVK before fate-match

Salomäki almost could not breathe - Lakatos' run over by the bus

Gislaved's Jessica Lakatos is an unsecured card for tonight's quarter-finals 3: 5 against Svedala.
Photo: Patrik Nilsson

Can GVK manage to keep the quarterfinal series alive? Svedala leads 2-0 in the best of five games.
The only way? Victory tonight.

Sunday afternoon. Just outside of Malmö.

During warm up, the team's leading point scorer Hanna Salomäki overheated to the point that breathing became difficult.

Later that evening, it was the Libero Jessica Lakatos who was unlucky.

"I came home and suddenly felt ill and later like I had been run over by a bus," she says.

Monday spent in bed.

"I have been drinking lots of water, eating honey and painkillers. I hope to be fit for the game but it is uncertain to know now," says Jessica on Monday evening.

Key player Ester De Vries is long gone from the game, suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in late January.

"I know that none of the players have given up. We have the capacity to turn the match again Svedala and then get to a home game where we can level the series at 2-2," says Jessica Lakatos.