Saturday, October 25, 2014

GVK Handed a Tough Loss by Reigning Champs

October 25, 2014
GVK change training plan prior to the derby 
Gislaved | Ditch the heavy weight training.
So, Gislaved VK hopes to change the season that started with a negative trend.
“I think it can give us a boost,” says team-captain Lisa Tannerfalk.  
Volleyball | Two heavy matches. Two heavy losses. Gislaved VK has had to work hard during the season’s start.
Ahead of today's meeting with Hylte/Halmstad team has moved around in the training set-up and perhaps found a break in the trend.
Away with the heavy weights. Maintain the light and fresh legs.
“It feels good that we're doing this now. I think we will be fresh,” says Lisa Tannerfalk.
Have there been heavy legs?
“We started [the series] pretty hard with a 5-set match against Gothenburg. And then it was tough at Svedala, even if it was [a 0-3 loss]. Certainly each day thereafter pretty tough.”
The coach Dick Runesson: “One can not lift heavy indefinitely; you [constantly] break down rather than build up. We have run heavy strength training until after Svedala game, now we change a little bit and I think we will feel lighter in the bodies for a while.”
First test if the change gives the desired result?
A derby at home in Gisle Sportcenter against Hylte/Halmstad.
The reigning Swedish champions who won both meetings with GVK last season.
“Everything but a clear win for Hylte is a great success. I must be honest,” says Dick Runesson. “They have half the national team and they have put a lot of money on their foreign players. They are again considered as one of the top teams.”
But ...?
“So far, they have not shown that they are as good as last year. They barely won against Orebro and lost to Engelholm in 3-sets. They have not quite found it yet.”
What is most important to you?
“I think the key for us is to resist hurricane in the early sets. To not let them run away. As long as we can keep up with them so you get to see what it is going.”
Lisa Tannerfalk adds: “Serve receive is very important. And we must be calm in defense. Stay patient and do not have too many of our own mistakes.
Can you win?
“Yes, absolutely.”

October 25, 2014
Honorable Home Defeat  
Lisa Tannerfalk (9), Meghan Sherman (6), Mikaela Larsson (2)
& Sanna Schultz (11) celebrate a point against Hylte Halmstad
Gislaved | Reigning champion stood on the other side of the net. 
Intimidation? Not an ounce.
Final Score: Gislaved 0, Hylte/Halmstad 3 (20-25, 22-25, 18-25) 
Gislaved really showed zero fear of derby opponent, and reigning  champion Hylte/Halmstad. 
The home team proved once again that they are on the rise, and the match on Saturday was a testament that GVK is heading in the right direction. 
That it was the loss was a side-note for Dick Runesson. He was pleased, despite the loss, and felt they did not need to be ashamed of the effort. 
They pressured the guests throughout the match and, in the second set, had a 20-13 lead, however, GVK dropped the set with 22-25. 
Despite the loss, it was a well-rounded effort by the home team; an effort that bodes well for what's to come.
Match’s Best Players awarded to: Christina Alessi (Hylte/Halmstad) and Meghan Sherman (Gislaved)

Stat Leaders: GVK Sanna Schultz (9 kills, 1 ace), Jollan Åkerlund (4 aces, 2 blocks); HH Danielle Kovacs de Lima (12 kills, 2 aces, 2 blocks), Megan Devine (11 kills), Christina Alessi (10 kills, 2 blocks)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

GVK Opens Season 0-2

Series premiers at home for GVK 
Gislaved | Gislaved faces KFUM Göteborg at home in this year's Elite series premiere. 

GVK hosts KFUM Göteborg in the Elite Series premier
“I hope that people are supposed to appear in the hall,” said coach Dick Runesson.  
Dick Runesson enters his fifth season as head coach of GVK. 
A season that looks a bit different than before, which you could read about in Tuesday's newspaper. 
Now waiting for the premiere. A home game. Against Göteborg. One Thursday evening. 
“I expect that it will be a pretty even match. Göteborg is used to playing a strong defense and fight and tear each other properly,” says Runesson and continues: “We will need to have great patience in our attacking game. At the same time, we must also wear down [Göteborg’s defense] significantly. But it only makes us better as a player.”
The final scrimmage was played last Wednesday, which ended with a loss against RIG Falköping 3-1. During the week, the focus is on the defense and how to succeed. 
“I hope our block and defense game starts well, so we get proof of what we train on. It is important to do a good job, in block defense game.”
Gislaved and Göteborg met during the preseason at the Knallecup. It was victory for Gislaved then 2-0 in sets. But there is nothing that Runesson attaches great importance. 
“It has been a while since we met them last month. Both teams have probably gotten better so I do not count much from the preseason game. It is a new Göteborg we can meet.”
Runesson tipped in Värnamo News on Tuesday that Göteborg is ranked last in the league, just after the preseason ranking release. But he's not sure of victory. 
“I hope we will have this in our mind. But one must be aware that the quality of the Elite Series has been increased substantially over the past three-to-four years. In the past, there were teams you were pretty sure it would win, no matter how you played. But Göteborg is a team with quality.”
He hopes, of course, on a lot of people attend the series premiere. 
“I do not know how people think but it is not so often that there is an Elitserien Premiere in Gislaved. So I hope that people will join us in Gisle Hallen.” 
Will you invite Gislaved crowd at a victory? 
“We will invite Gislaved crowd on a good effort, then we will see how long it lasts.

October 16, 2014
Heavy premier loss for GVK 
Sanna Schultz (11), Jollan Åkerlund (7), Mikaela Larsson (2),
Meghan Sherman (lying) fall to KFUM Göteborg 2-3.
It started so well. 
But it was still a loss for Gislaved VK in the series home premiere. 
Final Score: Gislaved 2, KFUM Göteborg 3 (25-21, 25-19, 21-25, 23-25, 12-15) 
Gislaved started the game clearly the best. But it was inconsistent. They led by 4-1, dropped to 5-5. They led by 9-5, dropped to 10-12. Everywhere in the first set. But in the end, they could still win the set after trailing 11-15 to 19-17 and eventually win 25-21. 
It was back-and-forth in set two. But finally Gislaved took an eight point lead. It shrank to six points at the set's end but had Gislaved 2-0 in sets and they would just beat match point in the third set. 
But something happened. Errors started coming. Communication broke down. Gothenburg came into the game. To top it all, you had the referees working against you. 
“They were a distraction”, says team captain Mikaela Larsson. “But we did not lose because of them.”
The third set was lost by just four balls, the fourth with two balls. It was evenly played, that Gislaved saw Gothenburg fix a fifth and deciding set. 
A set that probably went down in history as the longest 5th set. At 4-8 came side-change and then also have a 15 minute long break after computer hassles in the scorers’ table. 
Once the game got underway again Gislaved dropped two balls directly. A time-out was taken and the players began to connect. GVK went on a 6-2 run in the next eight points Then Gothenburg used a timeout. Which obviously worked.
Despite the loss, GVK takes away one-point towards the series. A win on GVK’s part.
“We took the first two sets, which allows us to take a point [in the league],” says Larsson.
Match’s Best Players awarded to: Jollan Åkerlund (Gislaved) and Katarina Bagavac (Göteborg)

Stat Leaders: GVK Sanna Schultz (16 kills, 1 ace), Meghan Sherman (11 kills), Lisa Tannerfalk (4 kills, 4 blocks), Jollan Åkerlund (4 blocks, 1 kill); Göteborg Lisa Westby (15 kills, 2 aces), Ellinor Nilsson (9 kills, 1 block, 4 aces), Alma Skarrie (5 blocks)

October 18, 2014
Runesson: "No cow on ice" 
Second straight loss for Gislaveds VK. But GVK stays positive. 

Final Score: Svedala 3, Gislaved 0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-18)  
It was the second straight loss. And by a large margin. 
But it was what was positive too. 
GVK enters the court against Svedala
“There is no cow on the ice. Slowly but surely we’re moving forward,” said coach Dick Runesson after the loss. 
Sure. GVK kept the pressure on serve in the  final set and got the block-game involved here and there. 
“We made some progress. We are happy with the current situation. The girls and I are in control of what we do and we are on the right track”
GVK was also on track in every set, but in the middle of each set, Svedala broke away and won quite clear. 
“We get a pretty good start on all sets. And after the first set was not the feeling that we lost by 25-13. It felt we were in the match and were more consistent than [the score showed].”
Runesson thought the team did its best game of the season. 
Read more in the Monday paper about which players deserve hats.
Note: “There is no cow on the ice” is a Swedish proverb meaning: there’s nothing to worry about…yet. This is the shortened version of “there is no cow on the ice as long as its behind is still ashore” which makes more sense. No need to panic yet, we still have time.

Match’s Best Players awarded to: Holly Franks (Svedala) and Meghan Sherman (Gislaved)

Stat Leaders: Svedala Holly Franks (19 kills, 2 blocks), Autumn Wedan (13 kills, 2 blocks), Marissa Collins (3 blocks); GVK Meghan Sherman (7 kills, 1 block, 1 ace), Lisa Tannerfalk (2 blocks, 1 kill, 1 ace)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

GVK in the News: Preseason

September 17, 2014


Elite team finished in second place in this year's tournament.   

Last Saturday was the group-play where Gislaved beat all the teams in the group 2-0. We had solid and energetic games throughout the day and we were directly qualified to the semifinals on Sunday after winning our group. 
Top L to R: Lisa, Mikaela, Lina, Sanna, Matilda
Middle L to R: Jollan, Emma, Stina, Meghan
Front L to R: Amanda, Jessica
In the semifinal we got to meet Koll from Norway, whom we played in the group-round, and we also won the match 2-0 and with no major worries. The final against Hylte/Halmstad waited and we knew it would be a tough battle. We opened strongly but HH came back and we went together the way up to 18-18. Unfortunately HH finished the strongest and won the set by 25-20. Second game was tough for us, where HH played up and leaned on very tough serves and grew stronger in their blocking while GVK became a bit passive. The set ended with 25-10.
For GVKs, there is a lot to work on but also many bright spots. Today, we will recover with a little calmer activity so we can be running at full speed again tomorrow with both strength and ball training.

Final Score: Gislaved 0, Hylte/Halmstad 2: (20-25, 10-25)

October 8, 2014

Gislaved inconsistent in final training match before series 

Gislaved had their first and only home scrimmage match Wednesday evening against RIG Falköping. And it was immediately apparent that the visiting team had a many more training sessions together than GVK. 
“They [RIG] are young but they have their hours behind them. I do not take it too seriously, I  have to admit”, says head coach Dick Runesson. 
RIG won the first set but the home team responded immediately by winning the second set 25-19. 
“We have a lot to work with”, says Runesson and continues: “There is a lot of confidence. [As a team] we’re not there yet, confidence-wise. But it is not the end to get beat up in this kind of match. It was a good preparation for the start of series production.”
The last two sets went the same style as in the first set. In the last set of Gislaved lost nine of the last eleven balls when guests went from 16-16 to 18-25. 
“Yes, my God. When we play well we play well but when we play bad, we play really bad. But there are many young people in this team”, he says, and continues: “We'll take it for what it is. We know what we need to do and practice to reach the level. I do not think I'll get fired yet”, says Runesson, and laughs. 

Final Score: Gislaved 1, RIG Falköping 3: (17-25, 25-19, 17-25, 18-25)

October 10, 2014

"Cool personalities in Gislaved" 

Top Left: Amanda, Meghan, Jollan, Emma, Mikaela, Jessica
Bottom Left: Elin, Sanna, Lisa, Stina, Matilda, Lina
Gislaved made ​​it to the quarterfinals of the Swedish Championship finals in the spring. To the start of the season in the Elite League, the team's recruiting was successful. “We are a great team with cool personalities”, says coach Dick Runesson. 
“We're obviously looking forward to the series launch, there are games that really challenge us and makes us better. This year the club has chosen a different focus on player recruitment, deciding that we should invest locally and Swedish. There are many reasons for this, the most important for me is that we should take care of and manage the club's own talents. Obviously, we have included players from outside [GVK] because they were of interest to us for a long time.”
New players in the elite squad: Stina Lindstam, Sanna Schultz, Meghan Sherman, Lina Johansson, Jessica Lakatos. 
“This season's goal will be to develop during the season and make sure we are at their best at the end of it. This applies both on a team and individual level” concludes Runesson.
October 14, 2014

New Focus and Gislaveds VBK wants to do without foreign recruits

Foreign players have been a success story in GVK, but there have been drawbacks. Now writing a new chapter.

Head Coach Dick Runesson during a timeout
Liesl Tesch and Christina Perkins wondered "where have they come." They saw only forest everywhere. They had not intended to stay long in the “Woodland”, but remained in Gislaved and lifted GVK from underdog to the top of the Elitseries in 2009. 
There were more foreign players over the years and Gislaved became affectionately known as "G-Town" to the foreign players who joined the club.  
“We have been lucky or maybe skilled to have good foreign players here who worked on the court and socially. It's just one player didn’t fit because she was too selfish,” says sports director Lars Englund. 
GVK has invested overseas and had an average three foreign players in recent years. Before this season, more foreign players contacted the club with a desire to play for GVK. Each were well-known top players [from previous years in the Swedish league].
Nevertheless the club passed on the offer. 
March 2014, head coach Dick Runesson had come to a crossroads. GVK had gone out of the playoffs after a 1-3 series loss against Lindesberg. 
“I thought ‘never again’. I was tired of it. The air had gone out of me.”
But he got new breath and a new challenge. 
“Why would we not get a good Swedish team where the emphasis lies on Swedish players? That was the challenge that made me continue.”
“But really it's that he stinks in English,” interjects Englund, smiling.
This year, Meghan Sherman is the lone foreign player in GVK.
“That's both good and bad to bring in foreign players. They have a competitive mentality where they always go for a win; yet they have had a high expectations of their environment that are not always met. The foreign players must be paid by the club [as a full-time job]; while the Swedish players have not been able to dedicate the same time to volleyball”, says Runesson.
Have the foreign players hindered the Swedish? 
“Not hindered. But it's been nice for the Swedish players that the foreigners make a role for themselves on the team, but you can reverse it and then you can see that the American players sometimes take too much space. It's a balancing act,” says Runesson.
“We will have a wider team this season,” says Englund. 
It will also be cheaper for the club. The foreign players have received apartment and 14,300 SEK in salary each month.
“It also plays a role, of course, that it has cost, but also the Swedish volleyball association now allows three foreign players from non-EU countries in the field, and there is a suggestion to reduce to just two [non-EU players] next season.”
If you fail, you have the two locations to fill with foreign plays in winter, do you do something then? 
“The focus is fixed,” says Englund. 
“At the same time we do not paint ourselves into a corner. We have contact with players abroad. We close no doors,” says Runesson.

Strategy in G-Town: Players

793 points missing. Can GVK find them? 

Linus Petterson, Sports Reporter - Värnamo Nyheter

I stood there and watched the tears fall. 
I wanted to dry them, but decided to leave it alone. 
Decided to let the disappointment rush away, out Lindesberg arena and into the future. 
Seven months later, I glimpsed the first results of what tears have created. 
I see a new GVK. A GVK who has spent the time since the quarterfinal loss to map out a new path for themselves. Foreign imports are largely gone. Left is the home-grown, their own. 
One of the explanations given for the new wave is that the Swedish volleyball association allows only three foreign players from a non-EU country on the field at the same time. Another is that the club must now save for an expensive last-season.
The sharp change in direction has created its problems. 
Neither Kerri Beck, Ariel Usher, or Allison King are on the team. Last year's three leading scorers all chose to take flight to new adventures.
For GVK's part, it means not only lost three players. It also means a loss of 793 points. Points that took the team to the playoffs last year. Points that must now come from others, and in many cases new [players].
What is there to lean on? 
Sanna Schultz has potential. Last year's arrival, Emma Petersson likewise. But to lift any of them to the skies and demand American results would be as stupid as unnecessary. None of them can bear the weight as an Usher, a King, or a Beck did. Not yet. 
Therefore, this season's edition of GVK not characterized by individuals in themselves, but of individuals in groups. 
Starting tomorrow, we will see a collective GVK. Only then can the 793 missing points be downloaded. Only then can the last year fallen tears continued to rush to a bright future.

Sanna Schultz has moved from Gothenburg to Gislaved VBK. 

We asked her if she knows what she's gotten ​​herself into? 

You had volleyball at the highest level in the big city of Gothenburg and then moved to the Gislaved. What have you done? 
Haha, I’ve been asked the same question from my old teammates in Gothenburg, but the truth is that my hometown has always been very close to my heart. Well I can honestly admit I sometimes miss the cake buffets and frequented restaurants in Gothenburg, and of course, my dear sister and her bulldog Greta, who still live there.
What is it that you have been longing for home then? 
Fresh air outside Hestra. I missed the forest, to be able to go out and pick berries or the occasional mushroom. Since it's not completely wrong to go out among the forest trails either. And second-hand [stores] in Gothenburg is unbelievably expensive nowadays, it is much easier to find bargains here in the country as a true Smålander.
How does the forest power you on the court? 
Sanna (11) finds a hole between the RIG block
I usually go for a short walk in nature and "recharge" before every home game. I like to think it gives any advantage on the court. 
Dick Runesson describes you as a "positive jokester"? 

I would probably think that it's mostly because I'm happy. It's not that I goof-off or anything. I'd say I'm an angel compared to my teammates. To get the squad to be happy, I usually bring home-made cakes now and then. Everyone knows a fed sportswoman is a happy sportswoman.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Meet and Greet: GVK Elit

With every season comes an opportunity for club organizations to revisit their past and identify areas that need more attention, areas that were successful, and others that need improvement. Most of the teams competing in the Swedish Elite Series search outside of their borders for their key players; however with the future rule-change set to occur at the start of the 2015 season, which limits teams to just two international players in their starting six, Gislaved Volleyboll Klubb is realigning their focus. GVK prides themselves on their youth development program and, as is such, the club has decided to invest on their local talents, with hopes of developing throughout the season both individually and as a team.

Many of my teammates in GVK grew up in this club, joining the Elite Series team as they graduated from the local high school. They are the heart and soul of GVK, and constant reminders for our youth teams of what they can achieve through hard-work, commitment, and dedication to the sport. A few other players were selected to study at RIG Falköping, the National Sports High School. These players have competed alongside the best in Sweden from their respective age groups, gaining specialized technical training in a highly competitive environment.

I'm very excited to be joining this great group of players, and cannot wait for the start of our season. Our season opens in Gislaved on Thursday against KFUM Göteborg.

Our Middles:

#1 - Stina, spent the last 3 years at RIG Falköping, new to GVK Elit this season
#7 - Jollan, played for GVK Elit the past two seasons, originally from Svedala
#9 - Lisa, played for GVK Elit since 2010, graduated from RIG
Middles: Stina, Lisa, Jollan

Our Setters & Liberos:

#2 - Mikaela, played for GVK Elit since 2010
#8 - Amanda, played for GVK Elit since 2010
#12 - Elin, member of the GVK Superettan team, training with the Elit team this year
#16 - Jessica, played for GVK Elit in the 2010-11 and 2012-13 seasons, rejoined this year
Setters (blue) & Liberos (red): Mikaela, Amanda, Jessica, Elin

 Pin Hitters:

#5 - Lina, moved up to GVK Elit this season from GVK Superettan
#6 - Meghan, returning from graduate school, previously with Ljungby VBK in 2011-12
#10 - Mathilda, played for GVK Elit since 2012
#11 - Sanna, joined GVK Elite this year, previously with KFUM Göteborg, graduated from RIG
#14 - Emma, played for GVK Elit 2010-2012, rejoined for the 2013 season, graduated from RIG
Pin Hitters: Sanna, Emma, Lina, Mathilda, and me