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|
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.